6th January, Epiphany.
A holiday celebrating Befana, an old woman who delivers gifts to children throughout Italy on the Eve of Epiphany. There is a rowing regatta along the Grand Canal for the over 50’s.
On two days a year, and the 6th January is one, the Clock Tower in St. Mark’s Square sees the three Magi, led by an angel, appear from a doorway, pass by the Virgin and Child bowing to them, before disappearing through the other door.
Usually February and ends on Shrove Tuesday. Balls, wonderful costumes and an excuse to wear a mask.
25th April is St. Mark’s Day, also known as the rosebud festival, and when men give a long stemmed red rose to the women they love.
Forty days after Easter. The second time that the Magi appear in the Clock Tower.
Ascension Day or the first Sunday after Ascension.
Marriage of the sea. The Doge dropped a gold wedding ring into the sea as a symbolic gesture. Now the Mayor, dressed as the Doge, performs the honour surrounded by boats.
The 3rd week in July.
Redentore. A pontoon is built from the Zattere to the Guidecca where a mass is held in the Church of the Redentore in remembrance of the end of the plague in 1576. There is a huge firework display the night before.
14th November is St. Martin’s day. In the bakeries you will see a a biscuit showing the Saint on horseback offering his cloak to a beggar. Children can be seen, and heard, banging pots and pans and hoping the shopkeepers will be generous with sweets.
21st November is the Festa della Salute. A wooden bridge is built over the Grand Canal and where you go to light a candle to remember the end of the plague of 1630-1.