February 5: Liberation Day and Feast of Saint Agatha 

Of all the public holidays in the world’s oldest  Republic, the Feast of Saint Agatha is the most popular, and has been celebrated for over two-and-a-half centuries.

The occasion recalls 5 February 1740, when Cardinal Enriquez was sent by the Holy See to restore the autonomy and freedom of the state of San Marino, following an attempt by Papal Legate Cardinal Alberoni to annex it to the Holy See. Saint Agatha, patron saint of the city of Catania, is also the patron saint of the Republic of San Marino, together with its founder, Saint Marinus. 

The celebration follows a strict and solemn protocol, with an institutional procession led by the Captains Regent departing from the Palazzo Pubblico. The procession that winds from Borgo Maggiore to the Basilica di San Marino in the historic center is the highlight of the celebration. 

In this remembrance, religion and traditions merge to commemorate the Republic’s autonomy. 

 

March 25: Anniversary of the Arengo and the Feast of the Militia

On March 25, the Sammarinesi commemorate the 1906 Arengo that marked the end of the oligarchic period and the birth of a parliament elected directly by the citizens. Centuries ago, San Marino was governed by the Arengo, an assembly of the heads of San Marino’s Great Families who formed the Sovereign Body, par excellence. 

The Feast of the Militia, with military personnel in dress uniform, is also commemorated on this day. During the military ceremony, the High Commander reviews the Military Militias in front of the Ara dei Volontari, and a laurel wreath is laid at the base of the monument in honor of the San Marino volunteers and soldiers who died in all wars.

The most eagerly awaited event of the day is when the Military Militias stand in formation in Piazza della Libertà before the Palazzo Pubblico. In this charming setting, arms are presented to the Most Excellent Captains Regent, and after speeches are made, new recruits make their oath and medals are awarded.

 

April 1 and October 1: Investiture ceremony of the Captains Regent

The Investiture Ceremony of the Captains Regent has been held every April 1 and October 1 in San Marino since 1243. The two Captains Regent, who are San Marino’s Heads of State, govern the Republic for the following six months and represent it abroad at the highest levels. 

This is one of the Republic’s most important ceremonies, dictated by an ancient protocol, and attracting visitors and government representatives from foreign countries.  Dressed in 17th century costume, the Captains Regent parade past the Authorities and the Diplomatic Corps, escorted by the Guard of the Council in dress uniform to music played by the Military Band.

This unique ceremony tells a centuries-old story of sovereignty and independence.

capitani-reggenti

Credit: for Video and photos of San Marino we thank @vistsanmarino

 

September 3: National Feast of Saint Marinus celebrating the origin of the Republic

The Feast of Saint Marinus, the Founder of San Marino, is celebrated on September 3. This date also marks the birth of the Republic in 301 AD. . The day is filled with events and celebrations commemorating the values of peace, tolerance and justice among peoples, values on which the Republic is founded. 

Flag throwers, crossbowmen, ladies and re-enactors dressed in splendid medieval costumes parade through the center of San Marino in a historic procession, depicting life from centuries long past. 

It is an unforgettable experience for visitors, and a favourite ritual for residents.

 

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