Festa del bòcolo
April 25th is a very special day for Venice.
In fact on that day, in addition to Italy’s Liberation Day (Festa della Liberazione) the national Italian holiday commemorating the end of the second world war and the end of Nazi occupation, Venice celebrates St. Mark’s Day, the patron saint of the city, and the Festa del Bòcolo (Rosebud Festival).
This tradition comes from the story of the unfinished love between noblewoman Maria Partecipazio and the beautiful troubadour Tancredi, who did not hesitate to sign up for the Crusades in order to earn her father’s trust. The young man died in a rose garden but before that he was able to send one last gift to his beloved: a rosebud stained with his blood.
In memory of this tragic and sweet story, every year men traditionally give a single rosebud to the women they love.
In 2014 many venetians met in Saint Mark Square in order to create the first “human bòcolo” using their bodies: 850 square meters of red petals and 150 square meters of stalk and green leafs.