Vita Gazette

News from Italy

Rain of Roses at the Pantheon

Vita gazette – Pentecost celebrated with the ancient rite. About six thousand red roses were dropped inside the Pantheon.

The Cascade of  Roses at the Pantheon in Rome is held yearly on Pentecost. During the event, at 12.00, thousands of pink petals fall from the Oculus.

Fifty days after Easter, Pentecost is celebrated. All look forward to experiencing this exciting moment which symbolises the descent of the Holy Spirit, a gift of the Risen One, and the birth of the Church. The date varies each year and depends on the day on which Easter Sunday falls.

The practice symbolises the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Madonna and the Apostles. It is believed to date back to the Middle Ages but was restored only recently, in 1995. Since then, after the solemn mass at 10.30, thousands of rose petals are released on believers. After the Mass celebrated by the Archbishop of Boston, Cardinal O’Malley, a rain of roses rained down on the heads of the many faithful who flocked. From the opening of the Oculus, which measures about 9 meters in diameter, thousands of red rose petals were dropped. Also, this year, as has been the case for over 25 years, they come from the municipality of Giffoni Valle Piana, the city of Salerno that has donated the approximately 6,000 roses necessary for the ancient celebration.

The Pentecost ceremony at the Pantheon is divided into two main phases: in the morning, around 10.30, as anticipated, the religious function takes place, open to all believers. The second, however, is immediately following. Around noon, they sell thousands of rose petals launched from the Oculus of the Pantheon, about 12 bags. Generally, this operation is carried out by the firefighters who first reach the highest part of the monument’s dome, at the height of about 43 meters and then throw the petals from the eye of the sky, 9 meters in diameter. It illuminates everything in the interior of the Pantheon.

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