The "Festa della Sensa" (Ascension Day) was a public holiday in the Republic of Venice on the occasion of the Day of ascension of Christ (in Venetian dialect "sensa").
It commemorated two important events in the Republic: May 9th of 1000 when the Doge Pietro II Orseolo rescued Dalmatian populations threatened by Slavs. The date marked the beginning of Venice in the Adriatic.
The second event is related to 1177, when, under the Doge Sebastiano Ziani, Pope Alexander III and Emperor Frederick Barbarossa in Venice signed the peace that ended the dispute between the papacy and secular Empire.
During this festival took place the ceremony of marriage of the sea.
This ceremony celebrated the Venetian sea. The doge, with the result, Bucintoro on board, the craft of representation, and, reaching the mouth of the port of San Nicolò, threw a golden ring into the sea.
Today is less than the remind of the past, was introduced to the historical component, but the symbolism of the mystical marriage with the sea is still pregnant. The mayor, with the civil and religious authorities, is carried in the ship Bucintorotrought the entrance of the port of St. Nicolò, where the ritual launch of the ring take place.