THE MATERAN TWO JULY
LA FESTA DELLA BRUNA

THE SECOND OF JULY

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by Made in South of Italy

The festa della Bruna

The second of July : la festa della Bruna

The origins of the name "Bruna" are different and contrasting those who believe it is for the dark color of the Face seconds other theses comes from the Lombard word "armor" or from Brno (Rep. czech). The festival has ancient origins.

According to some more accredited theories, the feast of Bruna refers to a passage in the Gospel (Luke 1:39-56) in which Mary set out on a journey to attend her cousin Elizabeth, who was pregnant with John the Baptist at the time. This feast, so-called of the Visitation, was inserted in the liturgical calendar (1389), July 2, by Pope Urban VI already archbishop of Matera.

According to some more accredited theories, the feast of Bruna refers to a passage in the Gospel (Luke 1:39-56) in which Mary set out on a journey to attend her cousin Elizabeth, who was pregnant with John the Baptist at the time. This feast, so-called of the Visitation, was inserted in the liturgical calendar (1389), July 2, by Pope Urban VI already archbishop of Matera. Towards the end of 1500 Pope Gregory XIII declared the altar of Our Lady in the cathedral of Matera as a privileged place to redeem a soul from Purgatory for every mass celebrated there, upon payment of a donation. Thanks to these donations it was possible to enrich the celebrations, until then limited only to religious rites. There are two statues of the oldest one on display in the Cathedral and the one that is carried in triumph on the cart on the evening of the most recent feast.

According to popular legend, a farmer, returning from the fields, saw a beautiful woman who asked him to help her getting on the wagon as tired for the long and tiring journey. The peasant, despite his dismay at this request, did not refuse to help the woman by asking her to go down to the church of Piccianello in order not to be seen by his jealous wife. The woman, before getting off the wagon, delivered a letter to the peasant with a prayer to deliver it to the bishop and, in its place, appeared a statue. The peasant, frightened by the incident, abandoned the cart and ran to the bishop delivering the sheet in which Our Lady invoked to be taken. The bishop moved promptly with the authorities. Arrived on the site, they saw the statue of the Madonna on a splendid triumphal cart.

All those present, then, accompanied the Madonna in the Cathedral and in the square in front of the entrance, the cart made three rounds to indicate the taking of the city by the Madonna. The tradition has been handed down to the present day and every July 2 the city of Matera blocks all activities to celebrate the most beautiful and picturesque religious event of the year.

All those present, then, accompanied the Madonna in the Cathedral and in the square in front of the entrance, the cart made three rounds to indicate the taking of the city by the Madonna. The tradition has been handed down to the present day and every July 2 the city of Matera blocks all activities to celebrate the most beautiful and picturesque religious event of the year. Over the years, religious traditions have been added to secular manifestations that make the day unforgettable from the tourist point of view. From all the cities of Italy, religious and curious crowd the streets of Matera to spend a day that seems never to end. The feast, in fact, begins at the early hours of the morning with the traditional "Procession of the Shepherds" which ends mid-day with Holy Mass. The festival then continues in the early afternoon with the procession of the triumphal cart and its "strazzo" and then, late in the evening, with fireworks on the belvedere.

the second of July: The procession of the Shepherds

The feast begins at the early hours of the morning with the traditional "Procession of the Shepherds" which ends mid-day with Holy Mass. The Procession marks the beginning of the Feast beginning at 5:00 am with the celebration of Holy Mass.

This ritual dates back to the late 1600s. The procession starts from the square of the Cathedral where the banner of the Madonna della Bruna, escorted by the shepherds and the band, runs through the main streets of the city. The festival is very heartfelt and despite the schedules is followed by many young people and families with children even at an early age.

Along the entire route the streets are lined with fireworks that are blown up at the passage of the banner. It is tradition for both young people and older people to run after the fireworks shouting and celebrating for the show prepared by the acclaimed "appicciafuc" (the company that prepares fireworks). Right after Holy Mass.

The procession of the Chariot and the Horsemen of Maria SS della Bruna

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The procession of the Charriot is one of the traditions most loved by materani. The cart departs in the afternoon from the church of Piccianello with the statue of the Madonna and sidirige towards the Cathedral. This tradition replicates the path that, according to tradition, the cart with the Madonna traveled the day of the first apparition of the Madonna in Matera (see paragraph of the history of the feast). Since the Madonna is placed on the cart 60 Cavallieri in vintage uniform protect the Madonna up to the Cathedral escorting the cart throughout the journey.

Since the Madonna is placed on the cart 60 Cavallieri in vintage uniform protect the Madonna up to the Cathedral escorting the cart throughout the journey. The task of the Riders is not yet finished. The coachman once again leads the Carro to the main square of the city, Piazza Vittorio Veneto, where a euphoric crowd is waiting. The Knights escort the Chariot opening a gap between the people but, near the square, they stop.

This is the most awaited and exciting moment of the day: the cart, in fact, is attacked and destroyed completely by a group of daring young people who try to grab the statues and angels that decorate it. In any case, even the shreds of the Chariot constitute a trophy to be jealously guarded as a souvenir of the feast.

A special thanks to the friend and Cavalliere Mario Daddiego for the photos sent.

the fireworks show

All the crowd, still excited by the spectacle of the "strazzo del Carro", then pours into the Sassi where you can watch the fireworks that three companies perform in succession, almost to perform a real race. All participants then spend the last moments of the party with their eyes turned to the sky, admiring a show full of colors, noises and smells in the beautiful setting of the Sassi of Matera.

For more detailed information and the updated program: https://www.festadellabruna.it

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