Every year in Gubbio, May 15th, the eve of the death of the city's patron, Saint Ubaldo, we celebrate the "Festa dei Ceri"(Feast of the Candles), within which there is the famous "Corsa dei Ceri"(Race of the Candles).
The "Ceri" are three very large machines made of wood, characterized by two huge octagonal prisms pointed at the ends, crossed by a plank. In a table called " stretcher ", are fixed antennas that are placed on the shoulders of "Ceraioli " (the participants in the race) . Above each candle are statues of the Saints: St. Ubaldo for the candle of the Masons, St. George for the Candle of Artisans and Merchants, St. Anthony for the Peasants' candle.
The atmosphere in the city is beautiful and evocative. The population of the place lives and feels intensely this festival and tourist who has the good fortune to visit Gubbio on this occasion, can only feel the warmth and emotion of this experience, which will take it home as a souvenir of this unique and special.
Here are some useful tips for tourists:
To live in detail the Corsa you can download the map with the route during the "Corsa dei Ceri", or attend the event through a large screen located in the city, installed in the 40 Martyrs Square.
Is good not to obstruct the path for no reason during the race because the Ceri don't stop; Is good be at a safe distance and keep the children and not bring them into the crowd; is necessary to have a practical and comfortable clothing in case of rain, it is better not to bring umbrellas.
The Feast starts early, at 5:45 am and lasts until 20:30, this is the program of the "Festa dei Ceri 2014":
5.45 am The drums give the alarm to the Captains
6.45 am Ceremony at the cemetery in memory of the deceased Ceraioli
7.45 am Holy Mass at the Church of San Francesco della Pace , known as " the church of the masons ," extraction of the Captains for the feast the next two years
8:45 am Procession of the Saints
9.15 am Gathering of Ceraioli in Borgo Santa Lucia and delivery " Bouquet of Flowers"
9:45 am Parade of Ceraioli to the Streets of the City to Piazza Grande
11.30 am "Stroke of the Candles" Piazza Grande
16.45 am Procession with the relic of St. Ubaldo
18:00 am "Corsa dei Ceri "Race of the Candles
20:00 am Arrival at the Basilica of St. Ubaldo
20.30 am Procession of the Saints
When you hear the cry of "Via ch'eccoli" means that Ceri are coming....!
The following Sunday May 15 is held in Gubbio, the "Festa dei Ceri Mezzani", carried out by young people between the ages of 15 and 20 years, June 2 instead of the "Festa dei Ceri Piccoli"(for children)!