Wishing My Family & Friends In Italy, Australia & The US a ‘Buon Ferragosto’!

The word Ferragosto derives from the Latin phrase ‘feriae Augusti’ (resting in August), a festival established in 18 BC by the first Roman emperor, Octavian Augustus, from whom the month of August takes its name. It is a period when the harvests and the end of the period of agricultural work is celebrated. It is also a holiday to guarantee a sufficient rest period.

The period of rest originated in the most ancient tradition of the ‘Consualia,' festivals that were celebrated at the end of the harvests in honor of the God Conso, protector of fertility and the earth. Many festivities were organized and it was also the time of year when peasants gave land owners their best wishes as a sign of good omen for the next harvests. Horse racing was part of the celebrations, while animals such as oxen, donkey and mules rested and were adorned with flowers. It is in these roots that the ‘Palio di Siena,’ which blends Romanesque and Christian traditions, had its essence.

Traditions states that the feast of ‘August 15th’ was instituted later when Ferragosto was assimilated by the Catholic Church, which established the feast of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven. Two distinct celebrations that happen to coincide on the same day.

In Italy, August 15th is the most awaited holiday of the summer, when everyone unplugs from work and their daily routine. It is a day when family and friends gather at barbecues, organize trips out of town, swimming by the sea, etc… a celebration of summer!

Buon Ferragosto a Tutti!

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