Happy Easter everybody!
In Florence easter is celebrated with the Scoppio del Carro. The Scoppio del Carro (“Explosion of the Cart”) is a folk tradition of Florence, Italy. A cart, packed full of fireworks and other pyrotechnics, is lit and provides a historic spectacle in the civic life of the city.
The actual explosion begins at 11:00, but you’ll have to head down to Piazza del Duomo at least around 10:00 AM, if not sooner, for a good spot! I’ve already watched it 2 times but didn’t manage to be at a privileged position in any of them. Who knows..?Maybe next time!
On the morning of Easter Sunday, the 30-foot-tall (9.1 m) antique cart (in use for over 500 years), moves from the Porta al Prato to the Piazza del Duomo . Hauled by a team of white oxen festooned with garlands of the first flowers and herbs of spring, the cart is escorted by 150 soldiers, musicians, and people in 15th century dress.
Meanwhile, a fire is struck using the historic flints from Jerusalem at Chiesa degli Santi Apostoli. It is then carried in procession to the cathedral square by members of the Pazzi family, clerics, and city officials.
The cart is loaded with fireworks while a wire, stretching to the high altar inside the cathedral, is fitted with a mechanical dove (the “columbina”). Shortly thereafter, at the singing of the Gloria in excelsis Deo during Easter Mass, the cardinal of Florence lights a fuse in the columbina with the Easter fire. It then speeds through the church to ignite the cart outside.
During all of these stages, the bells of Giotto’s campanile ring out.
The complex fireworks show that follows lasts about 20 minutes. A successful display from the “Explosion of the Cart” is supposed to guarantee a good harvest, stable civic life, and good business.
Below some photos from the Scoppio del Carro, 2 years ago..