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The Festa dei Ceri in Gubbio, in the province of Perugia, on 15 may each year. Tradition has it that a Catholic religious celebration in honor of Saint Ubaldo Baldassini, Bishop and Patron Saint of Gubbio, who died in 1160, and would be the result of the transformation of an original offer of wax that the medieval guilds gave the eugubine patron. Undocumented hypothesis assert instead that would originate from pre-Christian pagan rites, perhaps in a ceremony in honour of the goddess Ceres, linked to the spring fling.
A striking moment, the fruit of traditionality of the Festival, is offered by the famous “ceri” riser: the three Capodieci (captains), at the time of departure, rely, rushing at, along with a pitcher (that at the time of impact with the ground and consequent breaking decrees starting the race), facilitating, in fact, the “riser” dei ceri.It is thought that the pieces of pitchers, according to the tradition, bring luck and so after their break you can attend the furious loathing for even a small fragment of earthenware.
The Ceri are three wooden “machines” crowned by statues of Saint Ubaldo (Patron Saint of Gubbio), San Giorgio and Sant’Antonio Abate, whether vertically on three stretchers, “H-shaped”, which allows the transport to shoulder.Their weight is about 300 kg and it is only the latter that complicates their transportation (which, actually, is running), because the height, the speed, the roughness of the route and the so-called “mute”, change “on the fly” between people in the running.
The order of departure and arrival is fixed and cannot be altered during the race: it is always the Saint Ubaldo Cero to come first in the basilica, followed by that of San Giorgio and San Antonio the Ceri are called candle-makers and each has only one membership cero. This membership is the result of free choice or is linked to family traditions; Traditionally, the Saint Ubaldo cero would tie the corporations of Masons and Stonecutters, to San Giorgio that merchants, while that of Sant’Antonio peasants, landowners, and students.
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