Sunday, June 14, 2009

Festa del Infiorata: made with flowers

Today is the Feast of Corpus Christi and we journeyed to the town of Genzano di Roma, in the hills south of Rome, to see the Infiorata, a carpet of flower petals that is being prepared by the townspeople for the evening procession of the Blessed Sacrament. 

The origins of this flower carpet go back to the mid-1700's. Then and now, sketches were prepared, over 350,000 flowers have their petals separated and stored in caves until needed, and drawings are made on the pavement on Friday night. The petals are laid on Saturday and Sunday, in much the same way that a painter makes a painting.

Watching people work to put on the finishing touches before the procession reminded me of the preparations for the Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena, California.
Spreading greens to fill in the walkways
between the sections of the Infiorata.
St. Paul is depicted in one of the sections.
Water is sprayed on the petals
to keep them fresh under the hot sun .

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