|August 15, 2011|
|10:00 am||to||11:59 pm|
Today is August 15, which is called Ferragosto, an Italian holiday traditionally believed by Roman Catholics to be the day when the Blessed Virgin Mary was bodily assumed in to heaven (on the right, you see the statue carried in the procession in Messina).
This holiday was celebrated in the Roman Empire to honor the gods -specifically Diana- and the cycle of fertility and maturity. In fact, the present name of the holiday is taken from its original title of Feriae Augusti (from Wikipedia).
Ferragosto is a big national day in Italy: everything is closed and you barely find a doctor in case of emergency.
The Gigante and Gigantessa
The Gigante and Gigantessa are on view in Messina from August 10. Messina celebrates Ferragosto mixing sacred and profane traditions.
Prior to August 15, the colossal statues of a couple of giants on horseback – a Moor called Grifone and a inhabitant of the village of Camaro (above Messina) called Mata, founders of the city according to the myth (in the photo) – are taken around the city.