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Pisan New Year’s Day, Cathedral
Photo © Bruno Rijsman / WikiCommons
Photo © Bruno Rijsman / WikiCommons

Pisan New Year’s Day


In Pisa, New Year’s Day is celebrated on March 25 and the new year starts with a ray of sunshine

According to the Pisan calendar, the year began on March 25 (nine months earlier than the current date). This calendar, in use in Pisa and other parts of Tuscany, remained in force until November 20, 1749, when it was finally abolished by Grand Duke Francis I of Lorraine by an edict that established that throughout Tuscany the new year would begin on the following January 1.

The 1980s saw a resumption of the festivities, and every March 25 a historical procession crosses the city to the Cathedral, where a religious ceremony is held and the Pisan New Year is solemnly proclaimed.
More specifically, and suggestively, the beginning of the Pisan Year is marked by a sundial: a ray of sunlight enters the Cathedral from the “Sammarchina”, the smallest of the four round eyelets located under the dome, and hits a small egg-shaped shelf located on the pillar next to Giovanni Pisano’s pulpit, reassembled in 1926.

In recent years, numerous side events are also organized in the city in the days leading up to and afterwards.