The Feast in Venice on Ascension Day

June 2nd 2019: Venice celebrates the Festa della Sensa (Ascension Day Feast) As it happens every year, this year as well on Ascension Day we celebrate the Sensa Feast (Sensa in Venetian means Ascension).

During this feast we recall two important events that took place in the Venetian History.

The first event is about how Doge Pietro II Orseolo  defeated the Slavic pirates, around the year 1000, to help the populations of Dalmatia.

The second concerns Doge Sebastiano Ziani, who in 1177 acted as an intermediary to have Pope Alexander III and Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa sign a peace treatise in Venice.

It was then decided to commemorate these events every year on Ascension Day, during the celebration of the Wedding between Venice and the Sea: on board of the ceremonial boat, the Bucintoro, the Doge would exit the Lagoon and enter the Adriatic Sea, where he would throw a golden ring to symbolically marry the Sea, which was the main source of wealth for Venice itself.

Still nowadays the ceremony takes place similarly: the Mayor of Venice is taken out on a boat in the Adriatic, to remind of the eternal union between Venice and the Sea.

Quite a few visitors come to Venice for this feast, to admire the parades of unique boats in this genuine festive atmosphere: this is not a mere touristic event, it is a tradition that is still truly felt by the local population.

For more information about this feast, or about other Venetian traditions, do not hesitate to book a private guided tour of Venice!
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