La Giostra del Saracino, Arezzo
Arezzo Giostra del Saracino (Joust of the Saracen) is held twice a year, a night version in June, and another joust on the first Sunday in September. In June, there are selection jousts from Saturday 10 June through Wednesday 14 June, 2017, all taking place in the evening (8.15 pm to 11.30 pm). The final selection occurs on the evening of Thursday 15 June and there is a dinner on the evening of Friday 16 June, 2017. The main tournament takes place on Saturday 17 June throughout the day and into the evening. Tickets are required. This tournament has its origins in the early 16 C and commemorates Christian efforts to hold back the tide of Islam in the 14 C. A lively and colourful procession of costumed participants is followed by the main event in which eight costumed knights charge towards a wooden representation of the Saracen, aiming to hit the Saracen's shield with lances. The Saracen is mounted on a swivel so that part of the task of the knight is to avoid being struck back.  Each pair of knights represents one of Arezzo's four rival districts and their supporters each occupy a side of the piazza. The winner receives a golden lance.