Italian Cultural Group – Ferragosto – Vista Room – 1 PM – Third Monday of the month

Monday, Aug. 19, 2019 - 1:00 PM

Walnut Creek,

Ferragosto is Italy’s mid-summer holiday during which everyone takes off and enjoys some respite from the Hades-like climate. Whether seaside, mountainous or pastoral, the one unchanging variable is gathering at the dinner table, enjoying a typical summer menu.

Originally, August 15th marked the end of hard harvesting labor in the fields. Festivities honoring the gods, the cycle of fertility and ripening included mammoth meals and banter. The name Ferragosto comes from the Latin Ferie Augusti, the rest day created by Emperor Augustus in the year 18 BC that granted laborers repose and the ruler increased popularity. In time, the Roman Catholic Church adopted August 15th to celebrate the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. Whether pagan or not, revolving around Ferragosto in Italy is a strong tradition of games and feasting. Think Palio in Siena, or the Ruzzola (a festival during which folks race wheels of cheese around town) and the myriad other food sagre that mark the middle of summer across the Bel Paese. Ferragosto normally sees friends and families gathered around a table, ritually eating a series of foods.

We will celebrate Ferragosto at the Cultural Group meeting of Monday, August 19 at the Vista Room at 1 PM.

I will bring the usual Prosecco, a savory dish, paper dishes and utensils. Bring wine and  food to share. Everyone is invited. .