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Giostra del Saracino (The Joust of the Saracen)By Anthony Parente
The Joust of the Saracen dates back to the crusades. It was primarily a military training exercise that was the result of the raids of the Saracens on Arezzo and other parts of Italy. The oldest rules for the joust date back to 1677, which stated that any knight who attended the event was eligible to participate. After a long period of inactivity, the Joust of the Saracen was renewed in 1931. The rules were slightly altered to only allow each neighborhood a team of knights to participate and compete for the Lancia d'Oro (golden lance).
The competition takes place every year in the Piazza Grande on the second to the last Saturday in June during the evening (Giostra di San Donato) and the first Sunday in September during the afternoon (Giostra della Madonna del Conforto). The four neighborhoods that participate in the competition are: Porta Crucifera (red and green colors), Porta del Foro (yellow and crimson colors), Porta S. Andrea (white and green colors) and Porta S. Spitiro (yellow and blue colors).
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