March 25th, Pisa’s New Year


Pisa in Spring is always a beautiful time of year and when the city is truely alive, full of students, tourists, and people who’ve brought a little sunshine with them. People sitting on the riverbanks of the Arno, or in the Piazza dei Miracoli are full of the joys of spring. And to add to the excitement of the Tuscan spring, on March 24th, Pisa celebrates New Year’s Eve.

Even today the New Year’s tradition, varies all around the world, and dates back to Medieval times, when different regions celebrated the festival at different times of the year. It was only from the 18th century, Pisa adopted the Gregorian calendar, and celebrated New Year’s on January 1st, but before that, from the 13th century they chose to celebrate New Year’s on the 25th of March. They chose this day, because it’s exactly nine months before the birth of Christ.

Those days were hard because of the different calendars used. Florence celebrated its New Year’s at Christmas time, and because of this, life became complicated for the businessmen of the time. Arranging schedules and payment dates became difficult, because each city would be in a different month at the same time, without the benefits of modern communication channels, and watches and clocks things were just messy.
To get rid of this difficulty, the Pisans created a calendario solare or solar calendar, which marked with precision the 25th of March. They made a little window, like a little hole in the roof of the chapel San Ranieri, and at exactly midday, on the first day of the Pisan new year, a ray of sunlight would come through and illuminate a specific point, and that was their sign that the new year had arrived.

The event’s importance faded through the years, as the world’s calendars came together, and so, the official New Year’s celebration begins on December 24th. But in recent years, the event has seen a ressurgance, and made the Pisans the first in the world to celebrate the arrival of the new Millennium, 250 days before the rest of the world! And so, on March 24th, crowds are once more gathering at the church, waiting for the ray of light to appear, and to celebrate New Year’s Eve on the night of March 24thon the riverbanks of the Arno.

So if you’re planning a spring visit, seize the opportunity to experience this unique medieaval party, pop your champagne in front of the Duomo and celebrate an extra new year in Pisa.


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Commenti (1) | February 26, 2010

One Response to “March 25th, Pisa’s New Year”

  1. salary event planner Says:
    May 5th, 2012 at 09:56

    It’s an awesome post in favor of all the online viewers; they will obtain benefit from it I am sure.

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