Its supposed to be one of the great holiday occasions of the year. People on the move. Hey, its holiday time .. its the height of summer. This is Ferragosto. Instead what did we get today ? not blazing sunshine and blues skies but sunshine with just a hint of rain. This morning umbrellas were the order of the day.
Yes, you could go down to the market and buy your onions and garlic for the winter and yes there was the knife grinder working away sharpening knives and scissors and yes, there were still small rodents on sale and music blaring out but all was being done under the constant threat of sudden showers and occasional sound of rain on plastic sheeting and umbrellas.
Today was the Fiera di Santa Maria and tomorrow, San Rocco.
The background sound over the next two days will be the peal of ringing bells.
Today it was coming from the bell tower at the small church at the top of the Fornacetta – S.Maria della Fornacetta, the San Rocco church in Barga Giardino and of course, from the Duomo in Barga vecchia
‘Ferragosto’ is an Italian holiday celebrated on August 15. Originally, it was related to a celebration of the middle of the summer and the end of the hard labour in the fields. In time, Roman Catholicism adopted this date as a Holy Day of Obligation to commemorate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary—the real physical elevation of her sinless soul and incorrupt body into Heaven.
Before the Roman Catholic Church came into existence, however, this holiday was celebrated in the Roman Empire to honour the gods—in particular Diana—and the cycle of fertility and ripening. In fact, the present Italian name of the holiday derives from its original Latin name, Feriae Augusti (“Festivals of the Emperor Augustus”)