Easter in Florence, The Explosion of the Cart
Florence ofers a lot of events and celebrations related to Easter, from Easter to Easter Monday in the city you can attend Easter religious rituals, markets and festivals. Surely on Easter Sunday, as every year, the most evocative event is held in front of the Cathedral and is the historic ceremony of the “Explosion of the Cart” or the “Scoppio del Carro”, ancient tradition that dates back to the times of the first crusade even though the ceremony as we know it today is was established in 1622 with the construction of the wagon also called “Brindellone” tower-shaped about three floors high.
The ceremony you can attend today, however, is not so different from that of the past, but proposes the same rituals. It all starts around 10 in the morning, a priest rubs the three flints of Pazzino whose sparks light the Easter candle; this in turn is used to ignite the coals that are found in a container on the cart. The procession after walking the streets of Florence delivers the Holy Fire to the Archbishopric in front of Santa Maria del Fiore, better known as the Duomo.The cart is accompanied along the way by a procession with percussionists and flag-wavers, all in historical clothes, including city officials and representatives of the clergy.
The cart, well equipped with fireworks, when it arrives in front of the cathedral stops and waits for the beginning of mass. At about 11 o’clock from the altar of the Cathedral, while inside the church the Gloria is sung, the archbishop lights a dove-shaped rocket with the sacred fire (called “La Colombina”, which symbolizes the Holy Spirit), this in turn flies out of the church along a wire that goes to hit the cart in the square, giving rise to spectacular fireworks that meet the applause of the entire public: this is what we mean by the “Scoppio del Carro”!
If the complex ritual proceeds smoothly and all of the fireworks go off, good luck is ensured for a good harvest for this year as well as for the city and its citizens – so we hope for a wonderful explosion of the cart every Easter!