The explosion of the cart is a special Eastern ritual which takes place in Florence in front of the Duomo (Cathedral) every year on the Holy Sunday. A cart is pulled there by a pair of oxen decorated with flowery garlands. Drummers, Florentine officials, clergy and other people dressed in historical costumes and holding flags follow the cart. In a few minutes the cart starts exploding with colourful fireworks that ensure good harvests and general prosperity of Florentines.
This ritual, as well as many other local performances, has a legendary origin. A young Florentine Pazzino participated in the First Crusade and was the first to climb the walls of Jerusalem and establish the Christian flag. For such a heroic deed Pazzino was rewarded with three flints from the Holy Sepulchre which he brought back to his homeland. Since then the stones have been preserved in several churches.
Now they are guarded in the Church of SS. Apostoli. Every Easter at 10 o’clock in the morning a priest rubs the stones together in order to kindle the Easter candle with the sparks. The Holy Fire is later used by the Archbishop to light “colombina” which is a dove-shaped rocket symbolizing the Holy Spirit. At 11 a. m. the rocket flies out of the church via the wire and eventually collides with the cart which results in a few minutes of spectacular fireworks.
There are also many special dishes to enjoy in Florence during Easter. First of all, it's lamb, most often roasted and served as the main course. You will also see plenty of eggs prepared in various ways. Boiled and colored eggs are taken to Easter Mass to be blessed. Among desserts, it's worth to try the Colomba: a cake shaped like a dove covered in icing and almonds, with candied fruit inside.