This month we are publishing only a few posts, and we apologize for that.
It’s August, and many of us are on vacation, because here in Italy people traditionally take their holidays in August, especially around the 15th, at the time of a public holiday named Ferragosto.
We will start writing regularly again at the end of August, but in the meantime don’t forget to keep following us here and on our social networks.
To better explain August in Italy, we will discuss the origin of Ferragosto.
Ferragosto dates back to the time of the Roman Empire.
The name derives from the Latin phrase feriae Augusti,—“rest of Emperor Augustus.”
It indicated a feast instituted by the Emperor Augustus in 18 BC, which was added to ancient holidays falling in the same month, celebrating the harvest and the end of the main agricultural work.
Ferragosto had an obvious purpose of self-promotion for Emperor Augustus but was also intended to connect the major holidays of the month, providing an adequate period of rest, which was necessary after people had worked so hard during the preceding weeks.
In August, the weather is incredibly hot in Italy, and so it was also during the Roman Empire!
In the course of the festivities held throughout the Roman Empire, horse racing and draft animals (oxen, donkeys, and mules) were exempt from work and decked with flowers.
So, Ferragosto has a pagan origin, but it is now also a Catholic feast, and Italy is a Catholic country.
In fact, the Catholic Church celebrates this date as a Holy Day of Obligation to commemorate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven.
So enjoy this paradisiac day and leave the Inferno alone just for a while.