“Ribbit, ribbit”, accompanied by massive crowd cheers isn’t all that unusual in Fermignano, Italy this Sunday. Frogs are taken very seriously at the annual Golden Frog Race, Palio della Rana, held the Sunday after Easter in the Marche region to celebrate Fermignano’s independence from The Duke of Montefeltro 1607. So seriously that the frogs are examined by a doctor before and after the race, to assure health and lack of tampering.
Of all the oddities, the event also includes Medieval costumes, Renaissance garb, and food and beverage that certainly would displease the featured participants. Young men representing one of the five regions in Fermignano dress up Medieval style accordingly by color to operate a frog occupied wheelbarrow through the street race. If the frog jumps, the lad must stop to retrieve it and resume once the frog is back in place. Intense. The cheering and celebration form with a kick off parade welcoming the party weekend that includes historical attire including falconers and a spotlight on, rather ironic, eats.
Fried frog legs are the widespread menu offering during the famous festival. Attendees can expect live music, fireworks, and ancient craftsmen in addition to the main attractions. Fired up patrons root for their district contender until the first lad/frog/wheelbarrow ensemble crosses the finish line declaring the winner of
this year’s Palio della Rana.
The famous frog race is accurately described as hysterical, unusual, and amusing. Festivals of all varieties are a draw to Italy, Palio della Rana is certainly an event that does not disappoint in terms of tradition and entertainment. Festivals are a popular attraction for planning and choosing travel destinations. Many regions host versions of their city’s independence days, but Fermignano is the only to feature frogs in this outlandish and swell festival.
Does your city have an unusual celebration? We would enjoy having a variety of offbeat traditions at events from all over the globe in the comments section below!