The Pisan New Year

capodanno_pisano

Unlike many other cities in Italy, for many years Pisa and its countryside have had their one, different, calendar.

Pisa has an ancient history that traces back to the Villanovan culture that was followed by the Etruscan civilization, which in turn was replaced by the Romans: and maybe it is from Rome that Pisa took its special calendar, that was in use since year 985 AD, when the first document in stile pisano was produced. Stile pisano (“Pisan style”) is the name that is given to this kind of dating, that anticipates by nine months the Gregorian calendar.

The Pisan calendar started on March 25, similarly to the Roman calendar, but in the religious medieval time, to differentiate this calendar from the pagan one, it was explained as a calendar “ab incarnatione Domini“, that is to say that the year started the day of the the traditional date of the Virgin conception in the year of Jesus’ incarnation (which thus occurred within year 1), precisely nine months before Christmas day.

The calendar lasts till November 20 1749, when the Grand Duke Francis I decided to uniform all tuscan calendars to the Gregorian one (in fact also Siena and Florence had the year starting on March 25, but they calculated the years from Jesus’ incarnation – which thus occurred in the calendar year before year 1 – so when in Pisa was year 1040 in Florence and Siena was year 1039).

So next March 25 Pisa will enter year 2015: traditionally the new year is announced by a ray of light that passes through the Pisan cathedral at noon of that day, enlighting a marble egg near to the pulpit by Giovanni Pisano

800px-Capodanno_Pisano

Today the New Year is celebrated with an historic parade that ends in the Cathedral, where a mass is celebrated  and the Pisan New Year is officially announced.
Do not miss the chance to be the first to enter year 2015 by checking our private tours in Pisa!

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