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Procession to the Duomo

The day before the Palio, a procession of contrade carries candles into the Siena cathedral (Duomo) to be offered up during a ceremony to bless the Palio banner, the prize of the race, in the name of the Virgin Mary. The procession is loud, with a marching band followed by the military rhythms of each contrada’s snare drummer as they pass. The sounds of the bands and the drummers overlap into a single cacophonous soup of sound.

More has photos of the benediction inside the Duomo in 2012.
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