Hello brothers and sisters, I continue to pray for those affected by the COVID pandemic. I pray for all who have experienced loss and that everyone stays safe and that we will get back to our normal activities soon. Did you realize that April is a big month for celebrations in Italy. I thought I would share a few of the most interesting ones.
Easter, Pasqua, often falls in April. Italian Easter week celebrations start during the week before Easter and continue through Easter Monday, La Pasquetta, a national holiday and a day where you may find some very interesting festivals. One of Easter’s most unusual events is the Scoppio del Carro, or Explosion of the Cart, in front of the Duomo in Florence.
April 1 is known as Pesce d’aprile, or “April fish.” It is celebrated like April Fool’s Day in the US, with practical jokes and pranks, often with elaborate set-ups.
Palio della Rana
This frog race, usually takes place the weekend after Easter in the town of Fermignano, between Urbino and Urbania in central Italy’s Marche region. Contestants, representing each of the seven contrade or neighborhoods, dress in historic costume and race with frogs atop small wheelbarrows trying to reach the finish line before the frog hops off. There is also a procession in historical costume.
Il Giuramento di Pontida
In early April, there is a historical re-enactment at Pontida of the alliance between the Lombard cities of Bergamo, Brescia, Mantova, and Cremona against Federico Barbarossa on April 7, 1167. The town of Pontida is 16 km from Bergamo.
The date of Rome’s founding (in 753BC) is celebrated on April 21 so if you’re in Rome, watch for festivals, concerts, and special events. There’s usually a fireworks display over the Tiber River and gladiator shows around the forum area.
Saint George’s Da
In Caresana in the Piedmont region, Saint George’s Day on April 23 is celebrated with the Palio dei Buoi, a parade of floats pulled by oxen. Saint George is the patron saint of farm workers.
April 25 is a national holiday celebrating Liberation Day (Festa della Liberazione) in Italy. Some services may be closed but there will be festivals and concerts in many places.
Festival of San Marco
Saint Mark, San Marco, is the patron saint of Venice and there is a festival in Saint Mark’s Square on April 25, including a procession to the basilica. On this day in Venice, you should give a rose to your loved one.
San Biagio Day
San Biagio, the patron saint of Avetrana in southern Puglia, is celebrated with a 2-day festival including bands, food, a street fair, and a religious procession.
The Race of the Ring
The Corsa all’anello in Narni in the Umbria region is part of the celebrations held the last week of April. During this medieval jousting competition, three horsemen try to snare rings. There are also a historical Sprocession and other events.
God bless everyone,
will have more trivia next month.
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Sons and Daughters of Italy in America
Grand Lodge of California
P. O. Box 2467
Fairfield, CA 94533
Phone: (415) 586-1316