The Bank Holiday on August 15th is typically Italian although it is celebrated in a number of other European countries, but not in the UK. Many Italians take long holidays around this date, celebrating the actual day with lavish long lunches and given the heat at this time of the year often seaside, lakeside or in the refreshing mountain air.
The Catholic Church celebrate this day as one of Holy Obligation which commemorates the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, the actual elevation of her soul into Heaven.
The word Ferragosto derives from the Latin phrase feriae Augusti (Augustus' rest), a feast that was started by the emperor Octavian Augustus in 18 BC to celebrate the harvest and the end of the main farm work. During the festivities, throughout the empire were organized races with horses donkeys and mules, were free from work and decked with flowers. These ancient traditions are still alive in some parts of Italy today, virtually unchanged in form and participation such as the Palio di Siena held in Siena on August 16 every year.
All over Italy tonight there will be musical entertainment, plus in some places Fireworks to celebrate Ferragosto, so what sort of music will they be listening to. A lot of it will be English language pop music, but here is a varied selection of the tribute to Ferragosto videos that I found on YouTube.
Some Reggae to start with.
This next video sums up summer beautifully.
Courtesy of marinellaforever
A blast from the past, this artist is still very popular here in Italy.
Courtesy of STAGE58
My final choice is another oldie that sums up summer nights in the city for me 'Luna di Citta d' Agosto' 'The Moon in the City in August sung by Lorenzo Jovanotti.
Courtesy of surbino
Please note that some of you may be restricted from watching these videos via the blog and you may have to visit YouTube to do so successfully.
I hope you are all having a good week and to those of you that are celebrating here in Italy Buon Ferragosto, more information about the significance of this holiday can be found by visiting, Ferragosto – Wikipedia.
Please note that much of this post appeared in Buon Ferragosto 2010 but I am sure those of you that have been reading News From Italy for that long will not mind me sharing the information and music with you again.
We will be celebrating today with Our Wonderful Neighbours, some of you will already know how kind they are to us, treating us like members of their extended family.