Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Italian Ferragosto Party!

This past Sunday we celebrated Ferragosto, an Italian holiday that is normally celebrated on August 15th. A description of the holiday, stolen from Wikipedia, is at the bottom of my post.

The day was very beautiful and a lot of us local Italians and lovers of Italian met at Great Falls Park. The park is wonderful, the Potomac river winding past it, with big rocks and falls cascading over them. I have photos and such from last year's party. See them by clicking here.

It was a real fun time for all of us. We mostly spoke Italian, with some English. Thanks to all who came out! I can't wait until next year's!


Ferragosto is an Italian holiday celebrated on August 15. Originally, it was related to a celebration of the middle of the summer and the end of the hard labour in the fields. In time, the Roman Catholicism adopted this date as a Holy Day of Obligation to commemorate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary—the real physical elevation of her sinless soul and incorrupt body into Heaven.

Before the Roman Catholic Church came into existence, however, this holiday was celebrated in the Roman Empire to honor the gods—in particular Diana—and the cycle of fertility and ripening. In fact, the present Italian name of the holiday derives from its original Latin name, Feriae Augusti (Fairs of the Emperor Augustus) [1].

Almost the entire month of August was taken as holiday and leisure time in Italy in honor of this feast day.

In present days, Ferragosto is mainly a short holiday where Italian people have short vacations.


Katya said...

Why isn't the dog kissing you? What did you do to offend the beast?

Joe Ganci said...

I refused to give him a fourth hot dog after he had already had three!

Sally la peste said...

Wow! looks as if you guys have more fun for ferragosto than we do!

Joe Ganci said...

Well, yes, yes, we did.