Three saints compete in the 'candle race' up a 2,690 ft.hill to the mountain church?
Three saints compete in the 'candle race' up a 2,690 ft.hill to the mountain church of St. Ubaldo, in Gubbio, Italy.
This race is part of an annual festival and the saints, wooden effigies mounted on 30 ft. pedestals, are carried by the townafol E.Gubbio, which dates from six centuries before the founding of Rome, is full of numerous, fine examples of medieval art and contains some customs that were originally paganistic. The candle race is thought to be one of the latter, although many people believe it to be a celebration of the victory over the forces of emperor Frederick I in 1155 by the inhabitants of Gubbio assisted by Bishop Ubaldo, who was later canonised.
Whatever the origins, the candle race, sometimes called the race of the race of the mad, is thoroughly enjoyed by the town. The saints represent St. Ubaldo, St. George and St. Anthony and are the patrons of the stone masons, the store keepers and the farmers respectively.
There is a certain amount of abandonment once the festival starts swinging and the whole town follow the race up the hillside to the church.