500 Years of Florentine Fireworks

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Oxen Decorated with Flowers

Daytime fireworks, pageantry and excitement surround the centuries old Florentine tradition of Scoppio del Carro.  If you’re in Italy during “Holy Week” you will encounter Easter-related activities in progress in cities and small towns.  Of the many traditions that take place this weekend, the 500-year Florentine Scoppio del Carro is one of the most well-known.  “Scoppio del Carro” literally means explosion of the cart.  A 30-foot-tall antique cart called a Brindellone, also several hundred years old, is hauled by a team of oxen decorated with garlands of spring flowers.  150 people in 15th century dress escort the cart from Porta al Prato to Piazza del Duomo every Easter morning.

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Costumed Procession for Scoppio del Carro

Easter Mass is held inside the Cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore (Florence’s Duomo) and at 10:00 AM a fire is lit using three flints brought back from Jerusalem during the First Crusade.  While the ceremony continues inside, the Brindellone is loaded with fireworks and staged outside the door of the cathedral.  A wire from the altar inside is connected to the cart and at 11:00 AM the ceremony reaches its crescendo.  Gloria in Excelsis Deo is sung, a mechanical dove is lit on fire and then it flies down the wire into the cart, igniting the fireworks.  The fireworks display lasts approximately 20 minutes and a successful execution guarantees a good harvest and business in the coming year.

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Exploding the Cart in Front of Florence’s Duomo

Official Florence Tourism Website – Event Information

https://player.vimeo.com/video/124600802 <p><a href="https://vimeo.com/124600802">Scoppio del Carro</a> from <a href="https://vimeo.com/user35087318">Storm Nylen</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>” target=”_blank”>Scoppio del Carro Video

Photo Credits:
Oxen Decorated with Flowers   www.to-tuscany.com via Foter.com / CC BY-ND
Exploding of the Cart in Front of Florence’s Duomo   moniko moniko via Foter.com / CC BY-SA
Costumed Procession for Scoppio del Carro   Erica Schoonmaker via Foter.com / CC BY-ND

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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