Mid-August: its origins

On August 15 of each year, Ferragosto is celebrated in Italy. But why day 15? And above all why in August? Read on and you'll find out why.

The Feast of August has very distant roots and its meaning is closely linked to the very name of the Feast.
One of the oldest events concerning the history of Rome, which we know thanks to the famous Opera Ab Urbane Condita by the famous Roman historian Tito Livio, narrates that Romulus, the first founder and King of Rome, established the Consualia during his reign from 753 to 716 BC. when he organized the Rape of the Sabine Women, i.e. a deception born from the refusal of the neighboring populations to ally with him, an alliance intended for the sole purpose of obtaining some women to be able to use for procreation and thus populating the New City.
He organized this festivity called I CONSULIA, giving life to shows to attract as many people as possible from neighboring populations and thus be able to kidnap their women.
The Consualia were very ancient celebrations in honor of the God Conso, a deity who represented supplies, protector of fertility and the earth, which is why the festivities referred to the harvests that had just finished and sent their wishes as a sign of good luck for the harvests subsequent. There were 3 ceremonies of I Consualia, the first on July 7, the second on August 21 and the third and last on December 15.
The etymology of the term Ferragosto derives from the ancient Feria Augusti, the rest of Augustus, a feast celebrated in Ancient Rome decided in 18 BC. by the Roman Emperor Octavian Augustus, one of the most important characters in history, the one who founded the Roman Empire and who dominated all the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, was partly based on the Consualia.
At the time it was not the holiday we know today but a way of representing the first part of the month of August dedicated to rest and celebrations.
The Rest of Augustus was precisely on August 1 but then extended for most of the month.
Ferragosto as we know it and celebrate it today, was born in the Fascist period, around 1931, thanks to the organization of hundreds of popular trips and railway offers that took place from 13 to 15 August to allow you to visit the various Italian locations in the month in August.

The actual Institution, the reason why today is celebrated on August 15, was because the Holiday was assimilated by the Catholic Church to celebrate the Assumption of Mary, a moment in which Mary was welcomed into heaven and thus became a Feast of Obligation .
Catholic Tradition tells us that Mary, after finishing her earthly life, was taken to heaven both in body and soul. For the Catholic Church, Mary is the only person, besides Christ, to be materially assumed into heaven.

We hope you enjoyed our article!
We are waiting for you to visit Ferrara on August 15th!

15 August 2023

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