In Tuscany, the new year begins with the spring!
Florence, Pisa and Siena keep alive this long medieval religious tradition celebrating the beginning of the year with the Annunciation Day, that is, nine months before the birth of Jesus Christ, considering the 25 March as the beginning of the year.
Florence was very devoted to the cult of the Virgin Mary, and in particular for the Santissima Annunziata.
Not surprisingly, the Medici used to attend Sunday Mass in the Church of the Annunciation.
In 1582 it came into force on the Gregorian calendar which fixed the beginning of the year to 1 January, but Florence continued to consider March 25 as its New Year’s, that came with the beginning of spring, the season of rebirth of the earth, very dear to the farmers.
Until in November 1749, the Grand Duke Francis II of Lorraine issued a decree which required the hiring of the modern calendar with January 1 as the start date of the calendar year.
A plaque in the Loggia dei Lanzi remembers the decree of suppression of the event.