- May 15 -

Corsa Dei Ceri - Race of the Candles

Corsa Dei Ceri, or the Race of the Candles, is one of the most popular festivals worldwide as well as one of the most exciting. The ancient festivity is held each year in Gubbio, Italy beginning on May 3rd and culminating on May 15th. The history of this Italian festival in honour of St Ubaldo...

Corsa Dei Ceri - Race of the Candles

Corsa Dei Ceri, or the Race of the Candles, is one of the most popular festivals worldwide as well as one of the most exciting. The ancient festivity is held each year in Gubbio, Italy beginning on May 3rd and culminating on May 15th.
The history of this Italian festival in honour of St Ubaldo has been held since the year 1242 and the tradition involved has not changed too much since then.

Traditon
It is celebrated on the 15 May, St. Ubaldo's eve, and this has happened for centuries: the origins of the festival of the Candles date probably to the half of the 12th century, when the Commune, after an important victory in a war against some enemy cities, decided to celebrate the event and express gratitude to the then bishop of Gubbio Ubaldo by an annual festival.
The Candles consist of three huge wooden constructions, octagonal in shape, fixed to a hand-barrow, and up to 7 metres in height, each surmounted by the statue of a Saint: St. Ubaldo, protector of masons; St. Giorgio, protector of merchants; St. Anthony, protector of farm workers.
The Ceraioli who support the heavy Ceri wear brightly coloured costumes consisting of fez, red scarf and sash around the waist, white trousers and shirt ? yellow for St. Ubaldo, blue for St. Giorgio, black for St. Anthony.
The festival ceremonial is complex and has remained unaltered for centuries.
The Candles, housed in the Basilica of St. Ubaldo, are taken down into the town on the 1st Sunday of May; on the 15 May in the morning the drums awake the Captain, then the Ceraioli meet to draw the Two Captains of the Candles; after having received a small bunch of flowers the Ceraioli begin to parade through the city as far as the Piazza della Signoria.
At midday rings the big bell of the Palazzo dei Consoli, the Candles are raised and each Capodieci pours some water from a jug on a particular point of the Candle and then throws the container through the air: the jug, falling on the floor, breaks into many pieces, and people pick up them because they bring good luck.
At this point begins the procession through the streets of Gubbio, until the Candles are put down in a place.
At 6.00 pm the Candles are raised on the shoulders and, after being blessed, starts the extraordinary race along via Dante descent; after a stop in the Piazza della Signoria the Candles make three "birate" and they are carried up at great speed to the Basilica of St.Ubaldo, on the slope of Mount Ingino.
But the winner is not the first to arrive at the entrance of the church, indeed St. Ubaldo must always enter first, then the others.
The winner is established on the basis of the greater or lesser degree of skill shown by the bearers, and this will be determined by endless discussions among the townspeople of Gubbio.

Each year, thousands of spectators gather to watch the incredible feat of strength and rich tradition and to partake in the colorful celebration that accompanies the event.

Source:
http://www.argoweb.it/gubbio/ceri.uk.html
http://journals.worldnomads.com/worldfestivals/story/57113/Italy/Inside-World-Festivals-The-Race-of-the-Candles#axzz2z46LoHjA

Categories:

More holidays on this day:

International Day of Families
International MPS Awareness Day
Paraguay Independence Day
Saint Dymphna's Feast Day
Cold Sophie
Hollyhock Festival - Aoi Matsuri

You may also like...

Interesting events from Special category.

Make Your Dream Come True Day

Make Your Dream Come True Day gives you the opportunity to do something to realize your goals and dreams. Whatever your dreams are, they usually don't come true without some effort on your part. So, today is the perfect opportunity to do something about it. On this day do something,...

International Day of Nowruz

International Nowruz Day was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly, in its resolution A/RES/64/253 of 2010, at the initiative of several countries that share this holiday (Afghanistan, Albania, Azerbaijan, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, India, Iran (Islamic Republic of),...

International Tatting Day

This day has been celebrated for more than 44 years internationally. People who tat on this day will have activities. The activities lean towards the educational side of this art. This day in April allows tatters to celebrate their hobby and introduce this hobby to others. They can celebrate...

Day of Silence

The Day of Silence is the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network's (GLSEN) annual day of action to protest the bullying and harassment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students and their supporters. Students take a day-long vow of silence to symbolically represent the...

International Picnic Day

Today we celebrate one of the greatest ways to enjoy the summer season—an outdoor picnic with friends, family, games and activities, and delicious food. During the Victorian era, picnics were very important social occasions. They offered the rare opportunity for young men and women to...

International Students' Day

International Students' Day is an international observance of student community, held annually on November 17. Taking the day differently than its original meaning, a number of universities mark it, sometimes on a day other than November 17, for a nonpolitical celebration of the multiculturalism of...

Download KeepIn Calendar

Enjoy the interesting stories even on your phone or tablet