Cavalcata dei Magi (Cavalcade of the Magi) is a religious event celebrated every year in Florence, on the occasion of the Epiphany, that recreates the pilgrimage of the three Wise Men for the birth of Jesus.
Epiphany is the feast that celebrates the revelation of the Incarnation of God as Jesus Christ, and the visit of the Magi to the Child. In Italy, the feast of Epiphany is celebrated on January 6.
The Procession of the Magi existed as a tradition in the 15th century, when a company of laymen known as the Santi Re Magi (Holy Magi Kings) organised a festive procession through the streets of Florence. Initially, the Cavalcade of the Magi was held every three years and, after 1447, every five years.
The cavalcade comprised of three groups of people, which would meet in front of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, and march together to the Basilica of San Marco, where they would worship the Christ Child with hymns and prayers.
The Medici were also members of this company, which was abolished after they were exiled from Florence in 1494. After the 15th century, the celebration underwent many changes and lost its religious meaning, until it simply ceased to be held.
Cavalcata dei Magi was resurrected in 1997, on the occasion of the Seventh Centennial of the Cathedral of Florence.
CAVALCATA DEI MAGI 2019 will take place on January 6, when the procession led by the Three Wise Men on horseback, in magnificent silk costumes, followed by about 700 people, will walk through the streets of Florence, from Piazza Pitti, passing over the Ponte Vecchio bridge, through Piazza della Signoria, to finally reach the Piazza Duomo. Here, in front of the Cathedral, the Magi will place their gifts at the foot of the crib.
The procession will start around 2 pm, reaching Piazza Duomo after approximately one hour and a half.