Apart from the geographical and historical wonders, Tuscany is also represented by its culture, traditions and a myriad of the festivals it celebrates. With extensive historical sagas including the times of Renaissance, a range of medieval events and happenings under several reigns, Tuscany has gone through many highs and lows. All these factors have been very influential upon the region and have presented what we see today. The rich and pure culture, unique traditional values and the seemless festivity give an insight into the fun-loving lifestyle of the people here, making Tuscany grab a top-position in the where-to-go list of travel enthusiasts.
Here Are The 8 Most Celebrated Festivals in Tuscany:
The celebrations of Christmas and New Year are followed by Epiphany on January 6. The festival is as popular as is Christmas, being celebrated in almost the same way. Befana – the Santa Claus of Epiphany, visits the kids and gifts them sweets and chocolates. Legend has it that on this day, the three wise men visited Baby Jesus with lots of gifts for Him. On the way to Bethlehem they asked an old lady Befana, to guide them to the destination. But she did not come out for help. Later, on realizing her mistake she tries to compensate by preparing a sweet-box for them and sets out in search of them. Being unable to locate them, she starts dropping the sweets to all good kids whom she finds on her way. Even today, she is believed to be visiting the kids and delivering them all the goodies. People dress up as Befana and visit each other with gifts and sweets.
The Easter Sunday is celebrated in March-end, under the lovely sunshine that usually keeps the weather pleasant enough to enjoy feasting. The celebrations begin right from Thursday with decorated churches being visited by all the followers. On Friday and Saturday, several religious processions are carried out on the streets of Tuscany. People wearing traditional costumes carry the holy statues of Lord Jesus and Mother Mary.
Celebrated in the month of July, the look of the festival is much like that of a fair with lovely stalls selling food and handicraft stuff. People get dressed in traditional outfits and enact the battle fought in medieval era, as street-plays. The entertainment peaks with the exciting and lively parades of jugglers, stiltsmen and acrobats who dazzle the entire event. Children enjoy puppet and magic shows.
Food is what the Tuscans are most enthusiastic about. They love preparing sumptuous food and savoring it during all the fun. This one is a very special festival that is dedicated to the significance of hazelnut. Tuscans celebrate the festival in August, by preparing a range of culinary delights, especially those that have hazelnut as major ingredient. They serve them on all the major streets that get the buzz on with the arising aroma. You can see a trail of stalls inviting all the foodies to savor and enjoy the sumptuous delicacies, all served with smiles!
Festival of the Lanterns
This is the ancient-most festival celebrated on 7-8 September – the eve of the birth of Virgin Mary. People wake up in wee hours of the day and walk down towards Florence. The children in sheer excitement carry their lovely, colorful lanterns and run along the streets. They reach the square – the market area, where they enjoy the party and theater, thereafter.
This is another most popular festival among Tuscan people as well as the tourists. It is celebrated in September during the harvest season. Parades of special carts are carried out. The excitement of the people mounts during the events involving wine tasting, dancing and merry-making. They share tips related to making of wine and getting that perfect blend, everyone dies for. The handicraft products made by locals, are also displayed, especially for the tourists.
This festival is all about costumes! It is celebrated after May 1 in Assisi, for three consecutive days – Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Wearing various types of costumes, different sections of people compete with each other in several ancient games. Their processions are also carried out through the streets of the city.
The Bonfire Festival
The name itself gives a warm feeling, right! Well, it is celebrated right on the Christmas eve when the region is dark and cold. A procession is carried in the night with people holding torches in their hands. Lighting up the entire grim region, spreading festivity all around, people enjoy the bonfire party with some music, good food and lots of fun!