Corsa dei Ceri - Gubbio - Umbria
Save the date: 15th May 2012

This is one of the oldest folklore events in Italy. Tradition has it that it is a festival in honour of St Ubald Baldassini, Bishop and patron saint of Gubbio, who died in 1160; its origins are believed to be in the offering of wax that the medieval corporations of Gubbio used to make to their patron saint. Other historians say it probably originated from pre-Christian pagan festivals, maybe from a festival in honour of the goddess Ceres, to celebrate spring. The Ceri (candles) are actually tall wooden pillars weighing about 300 kilos that are fastened on H-shaped platforms to be carried on shoulders. Each of these pillars is topped with a statue of a saint - Ubald (the patron saint of Gubbio), George, and Anthony. The men who carry these huge candles (ceri) are called ceraioli. Each of them usually carries a specific candle, following family tradition or out of personal choice.
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