15 August 2009
Buon Ferragosto 2009
Feast of the Assumption
Today is Ferragosto, the major summer holiday for Italy. This day is based on the Catholic holiday Assunzione S. Vergine, or the ascent of Mary. Little Italy here in Cleveland and the Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Catholic Church is celebrating the holiday in style this weekend.
The main street in Little Italy, Mayfield Rd, and the side streets are closed off and lined with vendors selling predominantly Italian foods, with some Greek and Polish thrown in for good measure. We went down this morning to watch the procession of the Madonna around the neighborhood and they took one of the longer paths we have seen, almost 1.5 hours. There was the typical band, dignitaries, a few costumed marchers, various prayer groups and of course the Madonna on her float followed by the faithful. I felt sorry for some of the people as today is an actual summer day here in Ohio.
After the procession people filled the church hall for a pasta dinner or flocked to the vendors and restaurants lining the neighborhood streets. There were a lot of people who looked like they have some Italian heritage, though we heard very little Italian being spoken. There were also a lot of people from other ethnic backgrounds just out to enjoy the sounds, sights and flavors of a unique Italian event on a nice summer day.