• About

    The candlelight procession of Luminara di Santa Croce 2020 will take place on Sunday, September 13, 2020, in Lucca.

    On this occasion, the buildings are decorated with thousands of candles, a tradition now common only in Lucca and Pisa, for the Luminara di San Ranieri.

     

    SHORT HISTORY

    The procession takes place on the eve of the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, celebrated each year on September 14. In the Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross celebrates the cross itself, as an instrument of salvation.

    In Lucca, the origins of the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross are ancient – the first mention of the date of September 14 was made in 1118. On this day, Lucca celebrates the Holy Face (Volto Santo), a wooden crucifix measuring 2.24 x 2.65 meters, kept in a chapel built in 1482 by Matteo Civitali, in the Cathedral of San Martino.

    According to legend, the crucifix was sculpted by Nicodemus, who assisted Joseph of Arimathea in depositing Christ in his tomb, and was found and brought to Lucca in 742.

    At first, the crucifix was deposited in the Church of San Frediano, and later, probably in the 11th century, it was transferred in the Cathedral of San Martino. The present Volto Santo is a 13th-century copy.

     

    PROGRAM OF THE EVENT

    On the day of September 13, at noon, the bells are tolled throughout the city. In the evening, at 6 pm, in the Cathedral of Lucca takes place the Celebration of the First Vespers. Around 7.15 pm, the people gather in the San Frediano Square.

    Around 8 pm, the procession starts in Piazza San Frediano, and continue through Via Fillungo, Via Roma, Piazza San Michele, Via Vittorio Veneto, Piazza Napoleone, Piazza del Giglio, via del Duomo, Piazza San Giovanni, to reach, in the end, Piazza San Martino and the Cathedral of Lucca.

    The night will end with a fireworks display around midnight.

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