The world’s largest Christmas tree

Would you ever have said that the world’s largest Christmas tree was not in some metropolis, but in a small village in the province of Perugia? Actually yes. Since 1981, Gubbio, a lovely Umbrian village, has lit up with what entered the Guinness World Record as the largest Christmas tree in the world. Yet it is not a normal tree, but rather a figure of an immense Christmas tree that is created by arranging various types and colours of lights on the slopes of Mount Ingino, behind Gubbio, creating an absolutely unique chromatic effect. The realization of this project requires an immense amount of human energy, and it is only thanks to an intense voluntary work, that the initiative can be repeated over the years. The world’s largest Christmas tree is realized in an environmentally friendly way. In fact, as you can imagine, the electrivity consumption for tree lighting is very high. However, during the year, a photovoltaic plant placed on the roof of the Committee’s headquarter generates the necessary energy to cover most part of the requirements for the lighting of the tree.

Gubbio, the city of the Ceri

The century-old tradition of the Festa dei Ceri takes place every year in Gubbio on May 15th, on the eve of the Feast of Sant'Ubaldo, the town's patron saint who died in 1160. It is of little importance whether the origins of the Feast are Pagan or have something to do with the devotion for the patron saint - during this Feast you can truly breathe the soul, passion and traditions of Gubbio and the whole of Umbria. The objective of the race is to glorify Sant'Ubaldo and it consists in transporting the Ceri from the church of Santa Maria Nuova into the town centre to the basilica dedicated to the Saint. The Ceri are three enormous wooden structures that weigh four quintals each and are surmounted by the statues of Sant'Ubaldo (protector of masons), San Giorgio (protector of artisans and tradesmen) and Sant'Antonio Abate (protector of farmers and students). These are carried along the streets of the town centre to the Sant'Ubaldo basilica on Mount Ingino. The "ceraioli" take part in this wild race followed by an enthusiastic crowd. A suggestive ceremony precedes the race - at midday in piazza Grande, the Ceri are lifted for three rounds of the square. They are then paraded through the streets of the city, before being taken to via Savelli Della Porta until the start of the race. Each year, people from all over the world take part to enjoy a bit of Umbrian folklore.