On Sunday, 15th August we will celebrate "FERRAGOSTO" at Kohinga: St Albans Community Centre in the hall from 2pm-4pm.
Vin brulé (mulled wine) for all, games and fun time, Italian style.
FERRAGOSTO, what is it?
August is a crazy month in Italy. For Italians, it is often the best month of the year – a time for vacation, family, friends and the beach.
Second only to Christmas, Ferragosto is a day away from work, surrounded by food and loved ones. Besides the singular day, the week around Ferragosto is usually celebrated as well, with concerts, outdoor festivals and tons of food.
Ferragosto is an ancient tradition. It dates from the year 18 BC when Emperor Augustus created a holiday, “Feriae Augusti” or “festivals of Augustus”. On this day, he would organise horse races all across the Roman Empire and people everywhere had huge feasts and celebrated.
Incredibly, these horse races have stuck around, as the second phase of the famous Palio in Siena is held on 16th August.
Besides its pagan roots, Catholicism also celebrates Ferragosto, 15th August is also the Assumption Day, or the day when the Virgin Mary ascended to heaven.
In the 20th century, the 15th of August took a new turn when Mussolini, refusing to be outshone by the Virgin, organised discounted trains, calling them the “people’s trains of Ferragosto”. For many Italians, it was the only vacation they took all year in which they could travel away from their hometowns and see other parts of Italy.
Today, this holiday is just as much a part of daily life as it has been for the last two millennia. If you feel like celebrating with the Italians, come to Kohinga: St Albans Community Centre!
Christchurch Heritage Festival
The Italian society is participating once again to this wonderful festival organised by the city council with a morning dedicated to children who share an Italian heritage.
Save the date for now: Sunday 23rd October - more in the next newsletter.
Passeggiata di primavera
Spring leisure walk (12th September, postponement date 19th September)
Join us for a relaxing walk through the city centre of Christchurch. A great opportunity to speak Italian while discovering the meaning of the beautiful artworks within the new Ōtautahi rebuild.
The walk, of approximately 40 minutes, will start at the Margaret Mahy Playground (we will meet at 10.30am at the playground carpark on Armagh Street) and will finish at Tre Fratelli Fried Pizza at 7/160 Lichfield Street.