Easter with a bang!

A day of doves, eggs and fireworks

Editorial Staff
March 29, 2012

Every year, Florence celebrates Easter with an explosion of colour and fire. A giant cart, pulled by two white oxen festooned with garlands of flowers, winds its way through the city centre, escorted by a lively and colourful parade of musicians and flag-throwers in medieval costume. In front of the Duomo, the cart explodes with fireworks, setting off the huge Catherine wheels and releasing billows of red and purple smoke.

 

The tradition of the Scoppio del Carro (‘explosion of the cart') dates back to the crusades, when, according to tradition, a Florentine, Pazzino di Ranieri de' Pazzi, brought home from Jerusalem some stone splinters said to come from the Holy Sepulcher. These stones are still used to light the fireworks on the cart, symbolising new life.

 

In this issue, filmmaker David Battistella describes his first experience of Easter in Florence, and Georgette Jupe relates the fascinating traditions that make up a Florentine Easter, from feasts for foodies to historical re-enactments.

 

Easter falls on April 8 this year. For more information about the events of the holiday, and how to make the most of this important tradition in Florence, see this issue of TF and visit www.comune.fi.it.

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