15th August in Italy

Ferragosto is an Italian holiday celebrated on August 15. Originally, it may have related to a celebration of the middle of the summer and the end of the hard labour in the fields. The Catholic Church celebrates 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 honor the gods - in particular Diana - and the cycle of fertility and ripening. The present Italian name of the holiday derives from its original Latin name, Feriae Augusti "Holidays of the Emperor Augustus".

Almost the entire month of August was taken as a holiday and leisure time in Italy in honor of this feast day.

Nowadays, Ferragosto is mainly a short holiday when Italians take brief vacations. The holiday often coincides with peak activity of the Perseid meteor shower, leaving Italians at a particular advantage to view the astral event seen best at pre-dawn hours.

On ferragosto, many Italians get the day off. People celebrate on the streets in many cities of Italy.

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Created by Andrea Poidomani