6 January saw the fun and novelty of the Befana Regata.
But, this date is very important in the Christian world. It marks the arrival of the three Magi, bearing gifts for the new-born babe in Bethlehem.
In Venice, this is one of the days of the year (Ascension Day being the other), when something special happens on the clock tower in Piazza San Marco.
On every other day, when you look up at the tower, you will see the faces of the digital clock on either side of the Madonna.
Sometime during the night, a city engineer stops the clock, and removes the two clock faces. Gilded doors are put into these spaces. The four figures that will bow before the Madonna and Child every hour on 6 January are fixed into place on a mechanised track.
This shows the doors in place before the clock strikes the hour.
On the hour, the doors open, and led by a triumphant Archangel Gabriele, the three Magi appear, passing in front of the Madonna and Child, bowing and doffing their headgear.
And then, it’s over until the next hourly appearance.
The Magi had also appeared at the presepe (Nativity) in the Chiesa dei Frari.
And, for those who have gone into pissotte withdrawals: