Florentine New Year's is one of the official holidays of the Municipality of Florence and is celebrated on March 25 every year, nine months before Christmas, the day Christ was born.
From the Middle Ages until 1750, the Church celebrated March 25 as the Annunciation of the Incarnation received by Virgin Mary and was heralded as the beginning of the civil calendar in Florence. In 1582, the Gregorian calendar came into usage which established that the first day of the year was January 1. However, Florence continued to consider March 25 as its New Year, until in November 1749 the Granduca Francesco III of Lorena signed a decree that mandated that Florence had to respect the Gregorian calendar.
The event is celebrated with a historic parade that leaves from the Palagio di Parte Guela and winds through the city streets all the way to SS Annunziata where locals used to go to pay their respects to the sacred effigy of the Annunziata. The procession lays white lilies at the Chapel of the Holy Effigy.
PROGRAM OF EVENTS FOR FLORENTINE NEW YEAR 2012
Saturday March 24, 2012
The Office of Popular Florentine traditions will organize two guided tours curated by the Association of Centro Guide Tourism. For reservations call 055-2626056 from Monday to Friday from 9am-12pm.
1) Loggia dei Lanzi, Orsanmichele, Piazza della Repubblica, Santa Maria Novella: Astronomical Instruments, Museum and Cloister of SM Novella. The visit will take place at 9:30am. The group will meet a the Loggia dei Lanzi on the side of the Rape of the Sabine Women, in Piazza della Signoria (max 30 people).
2) - Loggia dei Lanzi, via dei Cerchi- Florentine Ancient Units of Measure, Cathedral S.M. del Fiore: Vision of the “gnomone” and the back of the ancient clock, piazza SS. Annunziata. This visit will take place at 10am. The group will meet a the Loggia dei Lanzi on the side of the Rape of the Sabine Women, in Piazza della Signoria (max 30 people).
SUNDAY MARCH 25, 2012
10:20am - the Historic Procession of the Florentine Republic accompanies the Town Authorities to the Basilica of SS. Annunziata.
11.00am - Floral homage at the Chapel of the Sacred Effigy.