St. Mark’s Day is on April 25th and is largely celebrated in Venice since the Saint is the patron of the city.

Leone di San Marco con il Vangelo aperto è il simbolo Venezia duarente i periodi di pace

The Lion with the open St. Mark’s Gospel is the symbol of Venice during times of peace

St. Mark’s Day in Venice is also known as the rosebud festival (Venetian: festa del bocolo) since on this occasion, men traditionally give a single rosebud to the women they love as a gift and a sign of their true love.

Bòcolo

Bòcolo

According to legend, the tradition originated in the 8th century, when a man of low social standing, Tancredi, is said to have fallen in love with a noblewoman from Venice, Maria: the daughter of the Doge. In order to win her father’s approval, he became involved in a distant war in Spain against the Arabs. He was mortally wounded in battle, but managed to pluck a rose from a nearby rosebush for his loved one. A companion was entrusted with returning the blood-stained rose to his lover. Maria received the gift and the terrible news. The day after, on the day of St. Mark, Maria was found dead with the rose on her chest. Since then, Venetian men bring to their lovers a red rosebud as a sign of their immense love.