Wednesday, January 9, 2008

La Cavalcata Dei Magi

In Florence, “La Cavalcata dei Magi” or, the Three Wise Men Procession, happens on Epiphany, Jan 6th. It commemorates the Three Wise Men’s visit to Jesus. The procession starts at 2:00pm from Piazza de’ Pitti and ends up on the Piazza del Duomo. This year’s procession was a bit of a challenge due to a drizzly day. We waited in front of the Pitti as the procession started, but suddenly, half of the procession made a mad dash for waiting buses to get ferried over to the Duomo. With the costumes as elaborate as we saw, keeping them dry was probably a good idea. The other half of the procession braved the weather and walked. (Our patience with the whole affair was well compensated for by a very entertaining pair of English ladies. They would not have been out of place in a French & Saunders skit.)

After observing the somewhat uneven procession start, we dropped some groceries off at home then headed for the Duomo. The whole procession ends up inside the Duomo where they ultimately march by Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus. But not before a round of Christmas carols (at least this year) like “White Christmas”, “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” (By John Lennon), and the rousing gospel “Oh Happy Day” – by a choir of school girls. Interesting. If you want a “front row" seat (everyone stands) then you might want to enter the Duomo before the procession does. Folks did make way for smaller children and their mom's who all sat up front where the action was.

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