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The Explosion of the Cart, or "scoppio del carro"

Published on April 3, 2010 6:36 PM | Comments

Tomorrow, Easter Sunday, is the fantastic medieval ceremony of the Exploding Cart of St. John, know as the "brindellone", or also the "scoppio del carro" here in Florence. This ceremony started sometime during the crusades, and the original cart was said to be lit by a flint brought back from Jerusalem by members of the Pazzi family. You can't describe this well enough in words, and even the videos below don't really do it justice. There is just something so fantastic, loud, and yet sort of pointless to it - it is pure spectacle. The "cart" is some semi-ancient construction (it is supposed to be 500 years plus old, but it is made of wood and basically set on fire once a year, so I am sure restoration has taken place) that gets led into the piazza in front of the duomo by two white oxen, and is covered in various fireworks and other exploding devices. It is lit by a fake dove on a wire that comes shooting out of the church doors at some point of the mass. I have witnessed it several times from the piazza, but tomorrow we plan on getting to the church early and getting a seat with a view to see it from inside. The mass starts at 11 AM, the cart usually gets lit around noon.

Here is a YouTube video of this event, there are many videos of this to watch on YouTube:

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