Florence's Cricket Festival

We found out that the Cricket Festival or Festa del Grillo is held in Florence.

The info we found said, "Just like the first robins, the cricket's singing is a happy sign of spring. Days before the feast, children buy little wicker cages. Then they hunt for crickets. Crickets that sing are thought to bring the family good luck for the coming year. Males are prized as the best singers. But how can you tell a male cricket from a female? A tiny yellow stripe around its neck is the clue.

On the day of the Cricket Festival, children proudly carry their crickets to Cascine Park. Parents bring along picnic lunches. At the park vendors sell caged crickets, sweets, and colorful balloons. Children run about with their pretty painted cages, and everyone enjoys a day in the outdoors. Afterward the children free their crickets, for this is another way to bring good luck.

Melinda S. Elmore Hajek gmrk@juno.com