Every year, on the third Sunday of July, Venice hosts one of the few remaining religious and civil festivals. The Redentore Festival in Venice, is one of their favourites and has been celebrated for nearly five centuries. It is one of the most keenly anticipated events of the year, both for Venetians and for people from the Veneto region. It is also of great interest among international tourists which bring together in the very heart of the floating city.
Origins of the Redentore Festival in Venice
This festival originated at the end of the sixteenth century, when a plague pervaded the city of Venice and also a great part of Europe. In 1576, the Venetian Senate commissioned Andrea Palladio, a famous architect, to build a temple in honor of Christo Redentor who was rendered an eternal cult to protect them from the epidemic. Finally, in July 1577, it was declared the end of the plague. Consequently, Venetians decided to commemorate this date by turning it into a tradition that they would celebrate every year.
From then on, every year the Senate together with the Doge, numerous devoted brotherhoods and crowds of people would cross a long bridge of boats connecting one side of the Giudecca canal to the other in order to reach the Redentore Church.
The festival nowadays
Nowadays, the nine religious Venetian brotherhoods unite with a number of enthusiasts that also cross this floating bridge in order to enjoy the festivities. During the Festa del Redentore, San Marco bay is filled with an array of boats. As if it was a ritual, everyone prepares their boats or terraces ready to enjoy the spectacle whilst dining or drinking alfresco.
However, this isn’t everything, on the night’s eve of the liturgy the celebration begins with a firework display. It is an authentic spectacle that the Venetians adore and they don’t like to share this important date with the rest of the tourists that crowd the city.
After the Venice fireworks, young venetians go to Lido beach. This is the main place where people go to relax and await sunrise.
The festival finishes on Sunday which is dedicated to religious activities.
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