The Palio dei Somari or donkeys race
The most important event in Torrita di Siena is the "Palio dei Somari" (donkeys race) that takes place on the Sunday after March 19. This date is symbolic, because it’s Saint Joseph’s Day, the patron saint of carpenters and in Torrita di Siena woodworking has always been widely practiced. The event dates back to 1966 and today is an occasion for the people who left Torrita di Siena in the past, usually for work reasons, to come back home and celebrate. The donkey, humble and tireless animal, represents the hard work and the simplicity of human labour. The event lasts several days starting from the first weeks of March. Each district has its own coat of arm and colour; everyone has rich and precious embroidered costumes like the ones of the Middle Ages. The Palio dei Somari is a competition between the eight districts of Torrita di Siena, and the race is preceded by a procession in the ancient streets of the village. The prize for the winner of the competition is a painted palio, which is then transported in the headquarters of its district.