All Traditional Festivals

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    Festa di Sant’Agata 2023

    Date: 3 February 2023 - 5 February 2023

    Festa di Sant’Agata 2023 will take place between 3 and 5 February, 2023, in the beautiful city of Catania. The celebration is dedicated to Saint Agatha, the patron saint of the city, who was martyred in the year 251 AD, during the persecution of the Roman Emperor Decius. The saint is celebrated in Catania twice a year – the Feast of Saint Agatha held in February commemorates the martyrdom of the Saint, while the Summer Feast of Saint Agatha, held on August 17, celebrates the return of her remains to Catania, after 86 years in which the relics were kept in Constantinople. In February, around one million people come from all over Sicily to attend Festa di Sant’Agata, which is comparable with the Holy Week in Seville, Spain, or the Feast of Corpus Domini in Cuzco, Peru. For three days, the city forgets about everyday things to focus on the celebration, a mixture of devotion and folklore.   SHORT HISTORY OF THE FEAST OF SAINT AGATHA Born in Catania in 231, Agata consecrated her life to the Christian religion. At the age of 15, she made a vow of virginity and rejected the amorous proposals of the Roman prefect Quintianus, Read more [...]

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    Carnival of Venice 2023

    Date: 4 February 2023 - 21 February 2023

    The Carnival of Venice 2023 (Carnevale di Venezia 2023) will take place between Saturday, February 4, and Tuesday, February 21, 2023, in the beautiful city of Venice. After two years in which the Venice Carnival was held online, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we hope that the 2023 edition of the festival will return to its pre-pandemic glory, and we will be able to admire once again on the streets of Venice the wonderful masks and costumes worn by thousands of people coming from all over the world.   SHORT HISTORY OF THE CARNIVAL OF VENICE The first information about the Venetian Carnival dates back to 1094, when the word carnevale was mentioned for the first time in a document signed by the Doge Vitale Faliero. Back then, the carnival was an event dedicated in particular to people from the lower classes, who, through the anonymity guaranteed by masks, could relate with the nobility of the time. The first official document declaring the Venice Carnival a public holiday dates back to 1296, when the Senate of the Venetian Republic set it before Lent. Starting with 1296, for the next few centuries, the Carnival lasted six weeks, usually between December 26 Read more [...]

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    Calendimaggio 2023

    Date: 3 May 2023 - 6 May 2023

    Calendimaggio 2023 will take place between May 3 and 6, 2023, in Assisi. Traditionally, the festival is held each year in the first Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday after the 1st of May, to greet the arrival of spring. On this occasion, the town is divided in two parts – Magnifica Parte de Sotto (Magnificent Lower Part) and Nobilissima Parte de Sopra (Noble Upper Part). The parts challenge each other for the conquest of Palio, through parades in medieval costumes, reenactment of medieval life and musical performances. A jury, composed of internationally renowned experts (a historian, a musicologist and an entertainment personality), choose the winner of each edition.   SHORT HISTORY The origins of Calendimaggio are lost in time. Most likely, the festival tried to revive ancient pagan customs that celebrated the return of spring and the renewal of the cycle of life. The ancient chronicles tell us that Assisi, at the beginning of the 14th century, reached its maximum splendor, a fact confirmed by the expansion of its walls, its numerous palaces and churches, the presence of the painters Giotto, Cimabue, Simone Martini, the Lorenzetti brothers… At the same time, the city was divided in two parts – Parte Read more [...]

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    Festa della Sensa 2023

    Date: 20 May 2023 - 21 May 2023

    Festa della Sensa 2023 will take place on the weekend of May 20 and 21, 2023, in the beautiful city of Venice. The Feast of the Ascension is one of the most evocative Venetian traditions, which recalls important moments in the history of the Republic of Venice, through the ceremony of Marriage of the Sea (Sposalizio del Mare). On this occasion, various regattas are held in the Venetian Lagoon. The Ascension Day Feast is, without doubt, one of the most anticipated and appreciated events in the Venetian calendar, not only by locals, but also by tourists.   SHORT HISTORY Festa della Sensa was born on the day of the Ascension of Christ, to commemorate two very important moments in the history of Venice. The first event occurred on May 9, in the year 1000, when the Doge Pietro Orseolo defeated the Slavs who threatened Dalmatia, allowing Venice to become the absolute power of the Adriatic Sea. The second event recalls the peace treaty signed in Venice in 1177, between the Doge Sebastiano Ziani, Emperor Frederick Barbarossa and Pope Alessandro III, which marked the end of a centuries-old conflict between the Empire and the Papacy. On this occasion, the Doge received Read more [...]

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    Festa della Madonna della Bruna 2023

    Date: 2 July 2023

    Festa della Madonna della Bruna 2023 will take place on Sunday, July 2, 2023, in the beautiful city of Matera. The event, popularly known as Festa della Bruna, is a religious feast held every year since 1389, in honor of the Madonna della Bruna, the patron saint of Matera. The 2023 edition will be the 633 edition of the festival.   SHORT HISTORY The origins of the feast are lost in time. The custom, handed down from one generation to another, was enriched over time by countless variations. According to legend, a farmer, in his way to Matera, took a young lady in his cart. On the outskirts of the city, in the Piccianello district, she got off the cart and asked the peasant to tell the bishop of Matera that she was the Mother of Christ. When he heard that, the bishop, along with the clergy and the townspeople, rushed to welcome the Madonna, but they found a statue in her place. The statue of the Virgin was brought to the town on a decorated triumphal chariot. Today, the statue of the Madonna is located inside a reliquary in the city’s Cathedral. Until the 16th century, the feast was Read more [...]

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    Festa di Santa Rosalia 2023

    Date: 10 July 2023 - 15 July 2023

    Festa di Santa Rosalia 2023 will take place from Monday, July 10, to Saturday, July 15, 2023, in the beautiful city of Palermo. The religious feast, one of the most important in Sicily, was officially recognized as an intangible heritage of Italy by the Central Institute for Demo-Ethno-Anthropology (Istituto Centrale per la Demo-Etno-Antropologia). The feast is dedicated to Saint Rosalia, also called La Santuzza (Little Saint) or Rusulia (in Sicilian dialect), the patron saint of Palermo, and it commemorates the miraculous appearances of the Saint from 1624, when the city was hit by plague. Every year, the festival lasts six days, with the first three days being reserved for the preparation of the great procession held on the evening of July 14. The 2023 edition will be the 399 edition of the event.   SHORT HISTORY Santa Rosalia was born of a Norman noble family that claimed descent from Charlemagne. She lived in the last years of her life as a hermit in a cave on Mount Pellegrino, where she died alone in 1166. According to legend, in 1624, Emanuel Filibert of Savoy, the Viceroy of Sicily, who resided in the city, brought to the port of Palermo a ship Read more [...]

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    Festa del Redentore 2023

    Date: 15 July 2023 - 16 July 2023

    Festa del Redentore 2023 (Feast of the Redeemer 2023), one of the most important events in the Venetian calendar, will take place in the weekend of July 15-16, 2023, in Venice. Every year since 1577, when the city of Venice was liberated from a terrible plague, the Feast of the Redeemer is celebrated in the third weekend of July. At first, the feast was a purely religious event, but over the centuries profane elements were added to the religious manifestations, and today the celebration includes a party, a regatta, and one of the most impressive fireworks display in the world. The feast is also known as Festa Famosissima (Most Famous Feast).   SHORT HISTORY Between 1575 and 1577, a merciless plague killed about one-third of Venice’s population. The epidemic spread rapidly throughout the city and was difficult to control due to the precarious conditions in which the people lived.   INTERESTING FACT: One of the victims of the 1576 epidemic was the painter Titian (Tiziano Vecellio). He died on August 27, 1576, and was interred in the Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari. The Doge Alvise I Mocenigo promised to build a grandiose church if the plague ended. On Read more [...]