Scoppio del Carro
The Explosion of the Cart parade (in Italian Scoppio del Carro) is held, in Florence, every year on the Easter Sunday. This is a traditional folklore event in which the city residents set on fire pyrotechnic staff. Fireworks and detonators are carried in an ancient wagon of more than 500 years.
The wagon that is 10 meters high is dragged by a white bull decorated with flowers. The wagon moves through the city streets in a course that starts in Porta al Prato and ends in Piazza del Duomo.
The wagon is accompanied by a colorful parade with the participation of hundred and fifty men dressed as Roman soldiers, brass bands and people who wear traditional cloths from the 15th century.
According to the local tradition, the Explosion of the Cart parade marks the return of the city resident Pazzino de Pazzi from the Crusades to Jerusalem. When he returned he brought with him flint stones that are known as “holly fire” from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The stones are kept in the Church of the Twelve Holy Apostles.
When the wagon reaches Piazza del Duomo, the fireworks are shot with great noise to symbol the “holly fire” which is created by the flint stones. The explosions that take place for about twenty minutes light the Cathedral square and the city skies with colored lights.
In addition to the fireworks, the detonators explode also and add their noise to the general din and excitement. According to Florence tradition, the blessed fire and light promise good harvest, business and stable community life.