Tags: basilicas in rome, churches in rome, events in rome, Rome, rome italy, summer 2011 in rome, summer events in Rome, summer rome, traditional events in rome, traditions in rome, visiting Rome
August is not August in Rome if snow doesn’t fall. Yes, because every year on 5th August, the beautiful Italian capital celebrates the day of “Our Lady of the Snows” at the Saint Mary Major Basilica, where the atmosphere gets charmed thanks to this ancient and precious tradition.
As a matter of fact, on 5th August it is usual to create a wonderful rain of white petals in the Saint Mary Major Basilica because, according to the legend, Virgin Mary appeared in Pope Liberio’s dreams (352 b.C.) and showed him where he had to build a church, with a miraculous snowfall (although it was summer) on Esquilino (a historical district of Rome) in the night of August, 5th 356 b.C.
The day after, the pope traced the perimeter of the church with a pastoral staff on the snow. Still today, the myth of the legend continues and every year, on 5th August, this extraordinary event is celebrated with play of lights or a symbolic snowfall of white flowers.
In order to remember such a miraculous event, also this year a rain of white petals will fall on the million people who will gather in front of the Saint Mary Major Basilica in Rome, one of the four basilicas of the eternal city.
This post is also available in: Italian