If you are anywhere in the vicinity of Tuscany the third week in March, make sure you try to get to the city of Pisa for Pisan New Years 2012 celebrations on March 25. That’s right, New Year’s. Pisa, home of the world famous leaning tower and amazing art, food and culture, celebrates New Year’s twice, the first time with the rest of the world on January 1, with New Year’s Eve celebrations, too, and the second time, to commemorate a local calendar that put New Year’s Day on March 25. Of course, the second New Year’s has its own New Year’s Eve merrymaking on March 24.
Why March 25? According to the Gregorian calendar, in use for over 500 years, between 1200 and 1749, the first day of the year fell nine months before Christmas. Then the calendar shifted to the one we use today. But Pisa wanted to revive the earlier New Year’s. In the 1980s, the then mayor of Pisa resurrected the ancient tradition, and the celebration took hold. This second Pisan New Year also marks the start of the tourist season.
This year, visitors to Pisan New Year 2012 will have a large menu of things to do, special tours of Pisa, Volterra and Pomarance, special openings of buildings, as part of Open Monument Weekend, including churches in Pisa, Calci and Cascina, museums in Fauglia and Peccioli and the fortresses of Vicopisano. There are also fireworks set off from the banks of the Arno river and a parade of medieval celebrants. Also thanks to solar clock, at midday the sun’s rays slip through the Duomo and hit a marble egg.
So, what do you think? Could you celebrate New Year twice? Come and do it in Pisa!