Calendimaggio

Calendimaggio

Three days beginning the first Thursday after May 1
According to legend, St. Francis of Assisi used to walk through the streets of Assisi at night, singing. During one of these nocturnal outings, he had a vision of the Madonna Poverta, or Lady Poverty, after which he renounced his inheritance and even his clothes and began a new life tending those who suffered from leprosy.
In Assisi, Italy, in early May each year, long processions of messeri (gentlemen) and madonne (ladies), escorted by knights and esquires, compete with each other in singing and music at the Piazza del Comune. In addition to commemorating the town's patron saint, these singing contests serve as an official welcome to May, which is known as the month of love.
CONTACTS:
Umbria Touristic Promotion Board
Via Mazzini, 21
Perugia, Umbria 06100 Italy
39-75-5759-51; fax: 39-75-5736-828
SOURCES:
FestEur-1961, p. 115
OxDictSaints-1987, p. 167
References in periodicals archive ?
May is a good time to visit as the festival Calendimaggio is held during this month, celebrating the return of spring.
What emerges is a long tradition of festive dancing in public by Florentine women with the major moments of the dancing year falling between January and June, and frequently associated with major festivals: Carnival, Calendimaggio, and the feast of the city's patron saint, San Giovanni Battista.
3) And Lasca indeed acknowledges that "[b]efore [Lorenzo's time] men celebrated Carnival by masking themselves and dressing as women, and they also used to go about at Calendimaggio cross-dressed [travestiti] as women and girls, singing canzoni a ballo.
However, others are canzoni di carro that describe parade cars based on literary and classical inventions of a type more often associated with the celebration of visits by distinguished foreigners or such feasts as Calendimaggio.
Dempsey finds it at first in the civic rituals of Florence and Tuscany such as the Calendimaggio.