Wednesday, 25 April 2012 16:16

Saint Mark's Day Celebration

  

On April 25th Venice celebrates Saint Mark’s day (Festa di San Marco), the saint patron of the city.  The celebration is held to remember the anniversary of the death of the saint though in earlier times it was celebrated also the 31st January to commemorate when the relic of the saint was transferred to Venice from Alexandria of Egypt in year 828.

 

Saint Mark’s day is also the festival of the blooming rose and traditionally every man donates a rosebud to his loved one. The tradition is based on the legend of a love tale between Maria Partecipazio, a young noblewoman who was in love with Tancredi a simple troubadour. Because of the social difference their relationship was opposed by the aristocratic father of the woman.  Seeking for glory that could win the father’s favor, Tancredi joins the army of Charlemagne in the war against the Arabs of Spain.

 

Sadly the young man dies in battle and falls over a rose bed, but before passing away he gives a rosebud to the paladin Orlando asking him to bring it back to Maria in Venice as a sign of his immortal love.  Orlando keeps the pledge to Tancredi and brings the flower to Maria, but the day after, on Saint Mark’s day, the woman is found dead with the rosebud lying on her heart.  Since then, on April 25th Venetian men are used to give a rosebud to their woman as a sign of true love.

 

To know more about the fascinating history of Venice you may take our Heart of Venice guided tour

 

 Venice, Saint Mark's Square

 

Saint Mark's Day in Venice

 

Venice painting by Canaletto

 

2 comments

  • Comment Link Marcelo Tuesday, 19 June 2012 16:47 posted by Marcelo

    So nice to learn about interesting stories like this one! Thank you

  • Comment Link Gerry Antionette Wilson Wednesday, 25 April 2012 18:54 posted by Gerry Antionette Wilson

    Beautiful but sad...

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