The Cavalcade of the Magi also known as the Cavalcade of Three Kings or Wise Men is a spectacular performance which takes place in Florence every January 6th. The procession reproduces Christian history, namely the episode where three wise men set off to greet the newly-born Christ with their rich gifts of gold, myrrh and frankincense. The three kings are accompanied by the cavalcade of over 500 participants wearing luxurious costumes. There are different people: knights and soldiers, country folk and craftsmen, ladies and lords, religious figures and others. The grand parade starts in the afternoon near Palazzo Pitti, it follows through Ponte Vecchio, then across Piazza Della Signoria. The Holy Family of the Virgin Mary, Joseph and Jesus laid in the manger surrounded by oxen, donkeys and other farm animals, welcome the Wise Men with the Cavalcade in Piazza del Duomo, which is the final destination of the procession. Centuries ago the Adoration of Three Kings used to take place every three or five years. The male members of Medici family participated in the ceremonies. Their exile from Florence in 1494 resulted in closure of these celebrations. The tradition was finally reestablished only in 1997.
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