The first week of May is usually a busy week in Italy, as it happens to be occupied with this event which is famously known as Calendimaggio. Basically, this is an event to celebrate the good being and the arrival of spring. Furthermore, Signoria square is an excellent location to hold such a celebration. It attracts the locals in Florence, and it is also valued internationally because tourists visit it regularly.
Before going to the Signoria square, some pre-events are held, since there are meanings behind those events. One of the celebrations that happen before marching to the Signoria square may involve the raising of flags outside the residential houses in Florence. A religious ceremony is also held in the Basilica of Saint Francis for the purposes of blessing those, who will participate in the main event. Yes, the main event happens in the Signoria square.
It is important to note that ceremony which takes about four days to reach the climax, and it involves a different kind of competitions. These competitions are the main reason why the town of Florence is flooded with tourists during Calendimaggio. Political support is seen when the mayor of the city gives some keys which symbolize a kind of rivalry, which should last four days.
Competitions such as a tug completion, racing, crossbow shooting, and elections are held. Well, there is always an election to choose the queen of spring wherein five maidens participate. To instill a feeling of excitement amongst the visitors and the viewers a parade is organized. The parade is flexible since it has women, children and different families, all of them are dressed in different matching costumes. Women who are dressed in pastel costumes often dance to entertain the crowd whereas there is a little bit of art exhibition by the men.
The last day is the climax of the festival. People from different districts in Florence gather up in the Signoria square; animals are also a part of the enormous crowd. Additionally, flags are waved by the young because of their energetic nature. Young boys run waving flags in joy. The excitement which is filled in people's hearts is expressed by screams of pleasure, claps and some also follow the trend and wave their own handkerchief flags. Just as the festive season began with religious activity, the end of the Calendimaggio is done in front of a church.
People sing praise choruses and dance with joy to celebrate the beginning of a new season. The fascinating event that takes place in the church that evening is the lighting of an angel. An angel is put under the spotlight, and this is a fantastic sight.
This festival is just amazing; it brings the people of Florence together on different occasions during the four days of celebrations. A lively spirit usually fills the air making it very easy to laugh and appreciate life for what it is. This is a festival which is out of this world.