The Clock Tower's Star Turn

The Three Magi, Torre dell'Orologio, Venice
This afternoon, shortly before 3 pm, I joined a small group of photographers who had gathered in the Piazza San Marco. They were all pointing their cameras at the clock tower and waiting patiently for the hour to strike.

On the first stroke of three o'clock, a trumpet-bearing angel emerged out of the door to the left of the Virgin and Child, closely followed by the three Magi. All four figures processed in front of the Madonna and Christ before disappearing through the other door. The spectacle was over in a matter of seconds; it would not be repeated until the hour next struck. 

The event doesn't sound that remarkable until you discover that it only takes place on two days of the year, today, which is Epiphany and Ascension day. For the rest of the year the four figures remain idle.

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