How Does Rome Celebrate Its Birthday?

By Michael Ferguson

Rome, the eternal city, has a rich history that spans over two and a half millennia. Every year, on April 21st, the city celebrates its birthday with great enthusiasm and grandeur. Let’s delve into how Rome celebrates this special occasion.

The Founding of Rome

Legend has it that Rome was founded by Romulus and Remus, twin brothers who were abandoned as infants and raised by a she-wolf. As adults, they decided to build a city near the spot where they were found. However, a disagreement arose between them about which hill to choose as the foundation of the new city.

Romulus, being ambitious and eager for power, favored the Palatine Hill. On the other hand, Remus, more inclined towards simplicity and humility, preferred the Aventine Hill. Unable to reach an agreement, they sought divine intervention.

According to myth, Remus saw six vultures first while waiting on the Aventine Hill. However, soon after that, Romulus saw twelve vultures flying above him on the Palatine Hill. This sign was interpreted as a divine indication of Romulus’ supremacy.

The Birthday Celebrations

The birthday celebrations in Rome start with a ceremonial event called “Circus Maximus Procession“. During this procession, people dress up in traditional Roman attire and walk from Circus Maximus to Capitoline Hill. The procession is accompanied by music bands playing ancient Roman tunes.

Once at Capitoline Hill, there is an opening ceremony where the mayor of Rome gives a speech about the significance of this day in Roman history. This is followed by various cultural performances such as theatrical plays, musical concerts, and dance shows.

The highlight of the day is the grand parade that takes place in the city center. The parade features historical reenactments, with people dressed as ancient Roman soldiers, gladiators, and emperors. The participants march through the streets, showcasing scenes from Rome’s past.

Feasting and Merriment

No celebration is complete without indulging in delicious food and drinks. Rome’s birthday is no exception. After the parade, people gather in public squares and parks to enjoy traditional Roman cuisine.

Street vendors set up stalls offering a variety of mouth-watering Italian dishes such as pasta, pizza, gelato, and tiramisu. You can also find stands selling Roman street food specialties like supplì (fried rice balls) and porchetta (roast pork).

To add excitement to the festivities, there are numerous games and competitions organized throughout the city. These include chariot races inspired by ancient Roman traditions, archery contests, and theatrical performances held in open-air theaters.

The Evening Spectacle

The day concludes with a breathtaking fireworks display over the Tiber River. The sky lights up with vibrant colors as fireworks explode one after another. It’s a sight that leaves both locals and visitors mesmerized.

Rome’s birthday celebration truly captures the essence of its rich history and cultural heritage. It brings together people from all walks of life to commemorate the founding of one of the greatest cities in human history.

In conclusion,

Rome’s birthday celebration is an event filled with joy, pride, and a deep sense of connection to its glorious past. It serves as a reminder of how far this remarkable city has come and the incredible legacy it continues to leave behind.