All photographs displayed in these posts  were taken and owned by Marco Brunetti, unless otherwise noted.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Events: Ferragosto in Ortigia

Ferragosto in Syracuse

August 15th is when Roman Catholics celebrate the Assumption of the virgin Mary into Heaven - the day when Catholics believe Mary ascended to heaven "body and soul" after the end of her life on earth.

Every Ferragosto a procession takes place in Ortigia. 

However, it was a holiday in Italy long before it took on a religious significance.

Ferragosto, the Italian name for the holiday, comes from the Latin Feriae Augusti (the festivals of the Emperor Augustus) which were introduced back in 18 BC, probably to celebrate a battle victory, and were celebrated alongside other ancient Roman summer festivals. These festivities were linked to the longer Augustali period - intended to be a period of rest after months of hard labour.

In Roman times, the celebrations included horse races, and the Siena Palio dell'Assunta, which takes place on August 16th, keeps these traditions alive.

It’s traditional to use the August long weekend to take a trip, usually escaping the heat at the seaside, lakes or mountains, so if you stay in town you'll notice it's much quieter than usual.

During the era of Fascism, the regime would organize trips with special offers for the 13th-15th August, the idea being that the less wealthy social classes would get the opportunity to visit a different part of the country, and even today there are often discounts on packages for the Ferragosto weekend.

below some shoots

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