Rome celebrates 2,773rd birthday in 2020

Rome's birthday celebrations for Natale di Roma include historical re-enactments featuring costumed parades and gladiator fights.

Rome celebrates its 2,773rd birthday on 21 April 2020. Known as Natale di Roma, the annual birthday celebration is based on the legendary founding of Rome by Romulus in 753 BC.

Events are usually centred in the Circus Maximus and include gladiator fights and the trench-digging ritual, known as the tracciato del solco, which recalls the founding of ancient Roman towns when a trench or mundus was dug and offerings thrown into it to encourage the gods to watch over the inhabitants.

Other re-enactments include the agricultural Palilia ceremony. Dating back to before the founding of Rome, the ceremony was held in honour of the goddess Pales, protector of flocks and herds, and involved vestal virgins distributing straw and the ashes and blood of sacrificed animals before jumping over a bonfire three times.The highlight of Natale di Roma, the grand parade, usually takes place along Via dei Fori Imperiali, with more than 1,500 costumed participants.

The pageant is organised by the Gruppo Storico Romano, an historical dramatic society which, for more than 20 years, has brought history to life by re-enacting battles, historic events, and displays of ancient theatre and dance in the city centre.

The Natale di Roma programme of events is currently being finalised and will be available nearer the time on the Gruppo Storico Romano website and Facebook page.

Cover photo La Presse

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Address Via del Circo Massimo, 00186 Roma RM, Italy

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Rome celebrates 2,773rd birthday in 2020

Via del Circo Massimo, 00186 Roma RM, Italy