BUON FERRAGOSTO!!!! Have a good Ferragosto everybody!!!

Fuochi di Ferragosto a Bellaria Igea Marina

But what is Ferragosto?

The 15th of August in Italy is a very important bank holiday that happens in the middle of the summer holiday. It’s a day dedicated to picnics, barbecues, celebration in restaurants and at home!!! Most people leave the towns because it’s normally too hot! Mountains and seaside resort are full of people and the atmosphere is happy and vibrant!!! At night there are firework displays everywhere!!

What are the Italians really celebrating? Despite looking just a summer festival, the 15th of August is officially a religious celebration! The catholic church celebrates the Christian belief that God assumed the Virgin Mary into Heaven following her death! 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 for the “vendemmia” the grape harvest for the production of wine!

In the picture last year fireworks in Bellaria Igea Marina, the seaside resort where I organize Italian courses. If you are interested in spending some time there learning Italian in Italy there are still available places for the courses in September!

Ferragosto: una tradizione italiana