• About

    Scoppio del Carro 2022 (Explosion of the Cart) will take place on Easter Sunday, April 17, 2022, in Piazza del Duomo, in Florence.

     

    SHORT HISTORY

    The ceremony dates back to the times of the First Crusade, called to free the city of the Jerusalem in 1099. According to legend, it was the Florentine Pazzino from the Pazzi family who first climbed the walls of the Holy City, where he placed the Christian flag.

    For this act of valor, Godfrey of Bouillon, one of the leaders of the First Crusade, donated three small pieces from the Holy Sepulcher to him. Returning to Florence, Pazzino was celebrated and welcomed with solemn honors.

    It seems that, after the liberation of Jerusalem, on Saturday, the crusaders gathered in the Church of the Resurrection and, in devout prayer, gave everyone the blessed fire as a symbol of purification.

    After the return of Pazzino to Florence, every Saturday, the young Florentine people used to go to the cathedral, lit a small torch and carried the purifying flame through the city. The fire was lit with the sparks made by the fragments of the Holy Sepulcher.

    In time, the carrying of the holy fire was made with a cart and, later, the fire was replaced with fireworks. It is believed that this custom dates back to the end of the 14th century.

    The Pazzi family was entrusted with the organization of the event, but only until 1478, when they conspired against the Medici family and were banished from the city. In 1494, the Pazzi family regained their ancient rights and privileges, including that of the organization of the Holy Sunday chariot. A new cart was built, which is still used today.

     

    CALENDAR OF EVENTS

    On the morning of Easter Sunday, the brindellone, a pyrotechnical tower positioned on a cart, is pulled by oxen on the streets of the historical center of Florence, escorted by 150 soldiers, musicians and people dressed in 15th century period costumes. After the cart reaches Piazza del Duomo, is positioned between the Baptistery of Saint John and the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore.

    At the same time, a fire is lit using the ancient fragments from Jerusalem at Chiesa dei Santi Apostoli. The fire is then carried in procession to Piazza del Duomo by members of the Pazzi family, clerics and city officials.

    At 11.00 am, the archbishop lights a dove-shaped rocket from the altar of the cathedral, which, through a cord mechanism, runs through the central nave of the church and reaches the cart outside, causing it to explode. The fireworks display that follows lasts about 20 minutes.

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