- 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.

St. Patrick's Day

Saint Patrick is the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland. St Patrick is credited with bringing christianity to Ireland. Most of what is known about him comes from his two works; the Confessio, a spiritual autobiography, and his Epistola, a denunciation of British mistreatment of Irish...

International Firefighters’ Day

Firefighters dedicate their lives to the protection of life and property. Sometimes that dedication is in the form of countless hours volunteered over many years, in others it is many selfless years working in the industry. In all cases it risks the ultimate sacrifice of a firefighter’s...

Smile Power Day

Celebrate Smile Power Day with a great smile. Smiling (even when you’re not happy) can help lift your mood and it helps everyone around you feel better. Try smiling at someone you pass on the street or when you pick up your morning coffee. When you smile at another person you not only...

Father's Day

Father's Day is a celebration honoring fathers and celebrating fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society. Many countries celebrate it on the third Sunday of June, though it is also celebrated widely on other days. History Father's Day was...

History Father's Day was...'>
Cousins Day

On Cousin's Day, celebrate the children of your aunt and uncle or great aunt and great uncle also known as cousins. These are the people that helped you endure holidays and the long family get-togethers. Cousins entertain each other while the adults do their adult things. So let your cousins know...

All or Nothing Day

Have you ever heard that expression, 'Today is the first day of the rest of your life?' This is the day to give something your all or don't even bother. All or Nothing Day is a time to take risks and live on the edge. People use this day to throw caution to the wind and go for it.

Download KeepIn Calendar

Enjoy the interesting stories even on your phone or tablet