Holy Week celebration in Chianti
Festa della Colombina
The “Festa della Colombina e lo Scoppio del Carro” will be celebrated in Panzano, Chianti as from 6 p.m. on April 14. It is a spectacular fireworks festival, which will add color to the marvelous and suggestive Chainti landscapes.
As every year Holy Tuesday in Panzano in Chianti holds this fantastic and colorful celebration, whose origins date back to time of the Crusades.
Tradition explains that Pazzino de Ranieri de Pazzi was the crusader in charge of passing a tradition coming from Jerusalem to Florentine lands, which then gave birth to this rooted popular festival, which has continued ever since in all the area. After the liberation of Jerusalem crusaders had the task to distribute torches among the citizens as a symbol of purification.
These torches had been lit with the sacred fire produced by rubbing the stones from the Holy Sepulcher.
Once Pazzini returned to Florence this event, we can say, adapted to modern times and by the end of the XIV century torches were replaced by fireworks.
During the days prior to Holy Week every young man in the small village of Panzano in Chianti participates in the construction of the chariot, piece by piece. This chariot will be bound to the church façade through a wire, which will hold it firmly its place during the days prior to the beginning of the celebrations and which will enable the wick to reach its target and make it go off.
On Holy Tuesday after mass the wick that parts from the chariot is lit, it reaches the church, goes round it and ignites the fireworks, which fill the whole Panzano village with light and color. The villagers hold that if the wick travels all the way without any trouble it will be a great year for all of them.
Other places where the Columbine festival is celebrated are: in Montefioralle at 10 p.m on Saturday, April 11; and in Greve in Chainti at 12 a.m on Sunday, April 12.