Though theoretically it is to celebrate The Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, its be around since Roman times. In fact the name Ferragosto derives directly from the latin Feriae Augusti - the Feast of Augustus. If today it has any religious significance it is only in that there are special masses and, here in Pesaro at least, the church bells have been ringing a bit more than usual. Not an unpleasant contrast from the 70s disco music blaring from the children's carousel outside our hotel room window. The sun is bright, the crowds are out and they are setting up the fireworks at Piazza della liberta for this evenings show.
And it seems appropriate that given the old feast was dedicated to fertility that there should be so many daddies slinging babies and pushing prams on the streets and beaches. Seems fertility has been running rampant the past few year The other evening in the small piazza in front of Casetta Vaccaj there was a daddies convention - seven of them tending to little ones ranging in age from new born to 4, no doubt while mommies were taking well deserved advantage of the 70% sales in town. Wish I had my camera with me.
So to all my friends here in Italy - daddies or not, pagan fertility worshipers or christian - Buon Ferragosto!
15 agosto - Ferragosto - L'Assunzione di Maria in Cielo