Since the very beginning, Palio had been organized for August 16. It is celebrated in honour of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven. In the middle of XVI century, the miracle of Madonna di Provenzano took place in Siena: according to the legend, a spanish soldier tried to shoot a representation of Mary placed in Provenzano's district by Saint Catherine herself. Legend has it that the soldier's weapon exploded killing him, whereas the statue remained intact. The inhabitants of Siena decided to celebrate the miracle by organizing a horse race July 2. Officially, contemporary Palio as we witness it today, dates back to July 2, 1656.