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Birds and Easter 22/09/2011

Posted by florencecapital in Uncategorized.
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c. 1910

In the Val d’Arno birds certainly play their part in the great spring festival. On Easter Monday at Signa little children of two and three years old ride into Church on the asses that bear the Easter offerings of oil to the Pievano. A small finch is put into the last child’s hand, and presently flies free to escape by the Church door. Its flight is closely watched, for it is believed to carry the fortune of the season and year to the person or the house on which it first alights. At Florence on Easter Saturday, the messenger that travels along the wire out of the Cathedral door to the car is still called the colombia. Once it must have been shaped as a dove. Earlier still, as at Rome in 1493, a living pigeon was probably used; and even yet, as at Signa, this flight is auspicious, and is watched to read the fortune of the year.

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