On April 25th, Venice commemorates its patron saint—St. Mark—with Festa di San Marco or the Feast of Saint Mark. On this date, the men of Venice honour their loved ones with a red rose. This tradition started with a rose bush that began growing near St. Mark’s grave. The holiday begins with a Holy Mass followed by festivities including dancing and live music concerts.
In addition to the festival, the Regata dei Traghetti takes place between the island of Sant’ Elena and the Punta della Dogana at the entrance to the Grand Canal. The regatta can be viewed from any of the streets along the shore from Saint Mark’s Square to Viale Giardini Pubblici. Saint Mark's Day also coincides with Italy's Liberation Day on April 25, 1945 meaning it is also a time when people honour fallen soldiers.
Another nice tradition on April 25th is for Venetian men to give a ‘bocolo‘ (a rosebud) to their loved ones as a tribute to the legend about the tragic love of humble troubadour Tancredi and Maria, Doge's daughter. Nowadays, a rosebud is offered to the women of Venice on St Mark’s Day as a symbol of love.