One of the most eagerly awaited celebrations in Venice is St Mark's Day.
On this day, the city comes alive with a flurry of activities, including processions, concerts, and religious ceremonies. The air is filled with the sweet aroma of traditional Venetian delicacies, and the streets are adorned with colorful flags and decorations.
If you're looking to experience the true essence of the city, St Mark's Day is an event that you simply cannot afford to miss.
So, come along and immerse yourself in the magical world of Venetian culture and tradition!.
Why St. Mark's Day on 25th April is an Important Celebration in Venice
The 25th of April marks a special day in the calendar of Venice.
Not only is it a national holiday in Italy, as we celebrate the Liberation day, the Anniversary of the Resistance. St Mark's day in Venice, in fact, is dedicated to the patron saint of the city and is celebrated with much enthusiasm and fervor.
St. Mark is believed to have arrived in Venice in 828 AD when two Venetian merchants stole his remains from Alexandria in Egypt and brought them to Venice. Since then, St. Mark has been considered Venice's patron saint, and his symbol, the winged lion, has become an integral part of Venetian culture and tradition.
Apart from the Festa di San Marco, there is also the Festa del Bocolo, or the Feast of the Rosebud, based on an ancient legend.
We'll get more deeply into these feasts in the article.
The Feast of Saint Mark's: celebrating the city's Patron Saint
As the patron saint of the city, Saint Mark holds a special place in the hearts of Venetians.
The Feast of Saint Mark's honors his memory, with locals taking part in religious ceremonies and enjoying various festivities that showcase their love for this iconic figure.
On this day, you'll find Venetians flocking to St. Mark's Basilica, where they attend a special mass after a procession that serves as a tribute to their patron saint. The Piazza San Marco also comes alive, filled with street performers, food stalls, and people basking in the celebratory atmosphere.
At one time, the feast of St. Mark was celebrated 3 times a year. In addition to April 25, celebrations were also held on January 31, the anniversary of the date when St. Mark's body was brought to Venice, and June 25, the anniversary of the discovery of the relics after the frightful fire of 976. Today, however, the feast is celebrated with a procession only on April 25.
The Festa del Bocolo: a Romantic Gesture of Love
The Festa del Bocolo, or the Feast of the Rosebud, adds a romantic touch to the April 25th celebrations.
This charming tradition involves men gifting their loved ones a single red rosebud, symbolizing love and devotion.
The origins of this custom can be traced back to a Venetian legend that tells the story of a noblewoman and a commoner who fell in love, defying societal norms.
Would you like to read it? Here it is!
The legend of the red rosebud festival
Maria, daughter of Doge Angelo Partecipazio, was in love with the young man Tancredi. Unfortunately, however, Tancredi was not of noble origin, and the Doge would never allow their marriage.
Mary then asked Tancred to go to fight against the Arabs in Spain with Charlemagne's army to gain fame: her father would then no longer be able to oppose their love. Tancred therefore departed and covered himself with glory.
Unfortunately, however, one day some French knights arrived in Venice. They had come to Venice to announce to Mary the death of Tancredi: struck by the enemy, he had fallen bleeding over a rosebush.
Before he expired, he had plucked a flower and begged his friend Orlando to take it to his beloved Mary in Venice. Maria took the rose still stained with the blood of her Tancredi and remained mute in her grief. The next day, the feast of St. Mark, she was found dead with the bloody flower over her heart.
As you stroll through the streets of Venice on this special day, you'll notice red rosebuds adorning balconies and windows, creating a picturesque scene that reflects the love and warmth that Venetians hold for their city and each other. Traditionally, Venetian men gift their beloved ones with a red rosebud.
In conclusion, April 25th is a day of reverence and romance that showcases the unique spirit of Venice.
From the Feast of Saint Mark's to the Festa del Bocolo, there's no better time to immerse yourself in the city's beautiful traditions and experience the magic of Venice firsthand.
Don't miss the opportunity to witness this captivating celebration on your next visit to the City of Canals!