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Here you can find most of my works, all 100% handmade. I hope you like them!
Arianna 

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Festa della Sensa – Feast of the Ascension

Next Sunday it’s going to be the Feast of the Sensa here in Venice, and we’re going to celebrate this very special day. I’m going to tell you a couple of things about this venetian tradition.

The “Festa della Sensa” (Feast of the Sensa – in Italian “Ascension”) was a feast of the Republic of Venice, which coincided with the day of Ascension of Christ, the last chapter of his earthly life when, 40 days after his death and resurrection, he ascended to heaven his body to join his father.

The Sensa Feast commemorated two important events for the Republic of Venice.

The first being May 9, 1000, when the Doge Pietro II Orseolo rescued the denizens of Dalmatia imperiled by the Slavs. The aforementioned date marked the onset of Venetian extension in the Adriatic.

The second event is related to the peace treaty that doge Sebastiano Ziani, Pope Alexander lll and Emperor Federico Barbarossa in 1177 agreed to the Treaty of Venice which ended the long standing differences between the Pontificate and the Holy Roman Empire.

On the occasion of the Feast of the Sensa was held the ceremony of the Marriage of the Sea (in italian, Sposalizio del Mare), a ceremony symbolizing the maritime rule of Venice and its intimate relationship with the sea. Originally, there was a solemn procession of boats, guided by the Doge’s ship (from 1253 Bucintoro, the Venetian Venus Galea) coming out of the lagoon through the harbor entrance of Lido.

 
When the procession arrived in front of the church of San Nicolò, patron saint of the sailors, a prayer was prayed for calm and peaceful sea for all sailors. Finally, the doge and the other officians were aspersed with the holy water; the rest of the holy water was poured into the sea.

Every year the doge dropped a consecrated ring into the sea reciting: “We marry you, sea. In a sign of true and perpetual domination” (“Desponsamus te, mare, in signum veri perpetuique dominii..”) declaring Venice and the sea indissolubly united, reiterating the possession of the Adriatic Sea.

According to the legend on which the myth of Venice is based, in 1177 Pope Alexander III would have conferred a character of sacredness on this ancient ceremony

The rites of the atonement of the sins to the sea date back to antiquity, like the one told by Herodotus, where Policrate, Samo’s tyrant, casts a precious ring into the sea to appease the gods, or like the one of Empress Sant’Elena, who casted a nail of the True Cross into the Adriatic Sea to ingratiate the winds.

According to various archaeological studies, the Venetian “Marriage of the sea” and the ceremony of the ring comes from an ancient pagan ritual that later the Church endorsed.

Since 1965, the city of Venice, on the occasion of the Ascension Day, organizes a story reminiscent of the ancient Marriage of the Sea.

The Mayor of the City of Venice presides over the ceremony on board of the “bissona” Serenissima, a special Venetian-style boat, characterized by rich decorations and thrust by eight rowers. After reaching the harbor entrance close to the church of San Nicolò del Lido, along with a boat parade, he throws the ring blessed by the patriarch of Venice into the sea.

The ceremony is accompanied by regattas where old traditional customs are worn.

Every year the city of Venice re-launches this celebration, which revives the millennial history of the Serenissima, its intimate relationship with the sea and the practice of Voga alla Veneta.

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