Easter custom Florence: Scoppio del carro
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Scoppio del carro
A special Easter custom in Florence
The “Scoppio del Carro”, translated as “Blast or Explosion of the Car”, is a fascinating Easter custom celebrated every year in Florence, in Tuscany. This unique custom has its roots in the Middle Ages and has become an important cultural event in the city of Florence.
The origins of the “Scoppio del Carro” date back to the 11th century, when the Crusaders returned to Florence from Jerusalem, bringing with them some relics from the Holy Sepulcher. To celebrate the return of the Crusaders and to receive the blessing of these sacred relics, the custom of the “Scoppio del Carro” developed.
The main attraction of this custom is a float loaded with fireworks and magnificently decorated, which is pulled from the Baptistery of San Giovanni to Piazza del Duomo. The wagon is an elaborate masterpiece, often pulled by oxen dressed in white. The chariot itself is a symbol of the victory of faith over evil and of the fertility of Mother Earth.
The actual ceremony begins when the Archbishop of Florence lights a special flame during Easter Sunday Mass. This sacred fire is then lit with a rocket in the shape of a dove. This rocket flies along a wire string in the direction of the carriage that stands in Piazza del Duomo. When the rocket reaches the car, it sets off a spectacular fireworks display known as the “Scoppio del Carro”. The crowd cheers and applauds as the sky over Florence turns into a colorful spectacle.
The custom of the “Scoppio del Carro” symbolizes the wish for peace, prosperity and a good harvest for the city of Florence and its inhabitants. If the fireworks go off without a hitch, it is considered a good omen for the coming harvest and the prosperity of the city.
The “Scoppio del Carro” is not only an important religious event, but also a fascinating spectacle that attracts thousands of locals and tourists every year. It is a wonderful example of the close connection between religion, history and culture in Florence and shows how a centuries-old custom has remained alive to this day. This unique Easter custom is undoubtedly a highlight of the rich cultural heritage of the city of Florence and an event that delights visitors from all over the world.
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