June 29 - St. Peter and St. Paul Day in Rome

Posted on June 29, 2018

The Catholic Church has a lot of saints - like, more than ten thousand! - but surely two of the "biggest," most important saints are Peter and Paul. And today is their joint feast day.

Feast days are often solemn occasions, and at the Vatican, the museums will be closed to tourists. Since St. Peter and St. Paul are considered the founders of the Christian church in Rome, banks and government buildings will be closed in the entire city. I gather that a few other communities in Italy also celebrate this feast day - but not Italy as a whole.

The more colorful and joyful aspect of the holiday is the street "paintings" that are created all through the night before - pictures "painted" with flowers! The flower artists who make these pieces of art are called infiorata.

There is also a rowing regatta - a race on the Tiber River - and a parade of historical boats. And the big finale is the Girandola (Pinwheel), which is a fireworks display originally designed by Michelangelo!

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