April 1, 2013

Day 83: Buona Pasqua!

I woke up early, got ready and went to meet my friends. I was really unsure what to expect from the Florentines for Easter. Italy is Catholic but many of the people are nonpracticing, in other words the Italians are Catholics who don't go to Mass.
Walking out of my house it seemed like any other day. People were out walking their dogs and the local Flea/ Antique Market was open in full hustle and bustle. I did not see a single person dressed in "Easter attire." I was worried that this would be a let down, that Easter wouldn't be as celebrated in Florence as I expected. I was wrong. As I approached the Piazza della Reppublica I could hear the beats of drums and saw clusters of men dressed in colorful medieval garb. In the center of the square were men in tights performing with what we called in colorguard "swing flags." I found Nikki, who had gotten back into town this morning, and Lindsey M and her Aunt. We watched the show before a parade started.

We left the Reppublica and headed to the Duomo to get spots closer up. We beat a good bit of the crowds and were able to see most everything. The parade arrived not long after us and then the cart came. In Florence there is this tradition called "the explosion of the cart" (google it, because honestly I have no idea why). Basically they put a bunch of fireworks on this big cart and it explodes.
The cart coming in

Two men putting a pole on the cart

And then they put this round thing on top of the pole
Then this guy got on a ladder and put these long wooden boards on each side
And then the priest spoke and there was singing


Fireworks everywhere!

The cart was smoking

The facade of the Cathedral blocked by all the smoke

At the end, three flags came out of the round thing the guys put on earlier
The parade then started up again and all the men in their tights left the Duomo.

Also bonus: as part of the parade, four oxen pull the cart in. I got to see the ox later and they were maybe three feet away from me. Probably the closest I've ever been to an ox.

That was the end of my day pretty much. I took a nap and did some homework. So not too thrilling after watching a morning fireworks show.

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