Festivities in honour of Milan's patron saint, Aurelio Ambrogio, take place every year on 7 December, which is a public holiday in the city.

Starting at 14.00 from Castello Sforzesco in the city centre, there is a procession of more than 70 costumed figures portraying the life of the fourth-century bishop. Led by a figure dressed as S. Ambrogio, the colourful parade includes civil and religious figures, imperial legionaries and barbarians. Meanwhile traditional religious ceremonies are celebrated in the basilica of S. Ambrogio.

Many other events occur in Milan on this day, the most high-profile being the annual launch of the winter season at Teatro alla Scala, the world-famous opera house inaugurated in 1778. The new season opens with Richard Wagner's Die Walk

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