The Miraculous Crucifix - procession of 3rd May

Spring festivals are very rich in symbolic meaning, as well as sacred and secular values – the one in Santa Fiora taking place on 3rd May every year. Tradition has it that a few days before the festival, the women of the village meet to tie bunches of wild primroses together using spruce twigs. Blessed and distributed during the procession, these bunches of wild flowers are a tribute to nature’s rebirth, but they also represent the symbol of the crucifixion because they are killed. Venerated by the devoted population, the miraculous Crucifix is kept at the Convent of the Poor Clares, but moved to the Parish Church of Saint Flora and Saint Lucilla during the festival. Sacred representations of cross-shaped tree trunks are also carried through the crowd, each one by a single man who represents one of the three historic brotherhoods of the town: Saint Michael Archangel (the Church of Saint Augustine), the Most Holy Sacrament (the Parish Church) and Mercy (the Church of Suffrage). The latter is characterized by the black trunk. The trunks are empty inside and weigh about 50 kilograms each. The skill of the carrier lies in knowing how to carry them between the wires that hang between the houses, arcades and narrow streets of the historic centre. The other main symbol of the festival is the Citron, an exotic fruit with distant origins given by boys to girls as a declaration of love.