March 25th is Officially National Dante Day
The Italian cabinet has approved the proposal of Culture Minister Dario Franceschini to make March 25th National Dante Day or “Dantedì” as we approach 2021, which will mark the 700-year anniversary of the death of poet Dante Alighieri.
The date of March 25th has been identified by scholars as the beginning of the journey into the afterlife narrated in The Divine Comedy.
According to Minister Franceschini, Dantedì will be “a day to remember in all of Italy and the world Dante’s genius with numerous initiatives involving schools, students, and cultural institutions.”
Various Italian intellectuals, scholars and cultural institutions including Accademia della Crusca, Società Dantesca, Società Dante Alighieri, and the Italian Society for the study of medieval thought.
As the father of the Italian language, the poet has come to represent an important symbol for Italy as a unified country, one that is particularly important in the era of Brexit and the various waves of separationist movements spreading across Europe. “Dante is the unity of this country,” Franceschini stated, “Dante is the Italian language, Dante is the very idea of Italy.”