Anniversary Of The Arengo

Celebrated in San Marino annually on March 25th, the Anniversary of the Arengo is a public holiday that commemorates the day in 1906 when the citizens decided to move towards a democratic nation. The 1906 Arengo gave birth to a Parliament that was elected directly by the people, instead of the nation being ruled by patriarchs.

From the 5th to the 13th centuries, San Marino was ruled by a patriarchal system—a system where the most important families in the country came together in an Arengo (“meeting”) to rule the country. Later, it would be replaced with a council appointed by the Pope and serving life terms. It wouldn’t be until 1906 that the citizens would cast off this system and rule themselves. And that’s what this holiday celebrates.

The History of the Anniversary of the Arengo

San Marino was established during the 4th century, and they immediately adopted a patriarchal system in which the important families of the nation would take the responsibility of ruling the country. The heads of these families would meet at an Arengo, or meeting, and decide on how the affairs of the nation should be handled.

Of course, this system of government had some major flaws, the foremost one being that there was constant political feuding between families. As a result, the people of San Marino decided to make a change, and the Pope established an elected assembly, which ended the rule of the patriarchs.

Since members of this council were appointed for life, there was little accountability, and as a result, there was a lot of corruption. This is when the citizens began to call for democratic rule.

On March 25, 1906, an Arengo was convened that asked whether the current government should be maintained or whether a new one should be created. The result was that the citizens chose to have the first-ever democratic elections in the country on June 10, 1906.

Observing the Anniversary of the Arengo

On this holiday, a contingent of the military in full-dress uniform appears in front of Palazzo Begni. During this ceremony, a wreath is laid on the tomb of the fallen, and then there’s a mass in the Basilica. There is also a military parade that marches through the streets of the old town center.

Where is it celebrated?
San Marino (National holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
March 25 Monday
Next year (2025)
March 25 Tuesday
Last year (2023)
March 25 Saturday