Florentine New Year’s on March 25
In Florence, New Year's is celebrated on March 25. Tradition states that the beginning of the new year should be celebrated exactly 9 months before the birth of Christ on December 25. In fact, March 25 is the day the Catholic Church celebrates the announcement to the Virgin Mary, and Florence considers it the first day of the year.
However, long ago in 1582, the Gregorian calendar was adopted and moved the first day of the year to January 1, which has since become the official date for the New Year all over the world.
Florence, meanwhile, was devoted to the Cult of the Virgin and did not willingly accept the date change. Florentines continued to celebrate New Year’s on March 25 until 1749, when the Grand Duke Francesco III of Lorraine, wishing to adapt to other European countries, enforced January 1 as the official start date of the year. Local devotion and tradition resisted despite this change, and so Florentines continue to pay homage to the Virgin on March 25 with solemn ceremonies.
In recent years, the Municipality of Florence has restored honor to the ancient tradition and consequently included the traditional March 25 Florentine New Year in the official calendar of celebrations.
As in the past, modern celebrations include a historical procession that crosses the city center to reach Piazza Santissima Annunziata, in front of the church containing the sacred image of the Virgin that legend says was painted by angels.
We look forward to seeing you in Florence for the New Year. Remember, it’s on March 25!