The Great Rogation

23 May 2009

An ancient tradition, the rogation, or propitiatory peregrination which is close to the feast of the Ascension, is used to invoke the fertility of the earth and abundance of the harvest, with the benediction of vines, fields and meadows by the parish priest. Once upon a time the priest proceeded throughout the whole territory along the roads demarcating the fields and the whole population would participate. During the rogation they would pray and sing ancient litanies and the gospels, guided by standards, banners and crosses of the church, and at the end of the procession each family would give a chicken to the church in return for blessed bread. Despite the religious side of this celebration having been abolished by the Vatican II Council, the rogation is still an event whose characteristic folklore is maintained in several villages and which preserves the times past and their attachment to the rhythms of nature (before the rogation assumed its Christian character around the 5th century it was practised as a pagan rite under the name ambarvali). The Great Rogation of Asiago is famed throughout the country, and takes place every year on the day before the Ascension and is called The Tour of the World. It lasts from 6a.m. until 7p.m., passing through over 30km. The procession starts from the cathedral of San Mattheo at 6a.m. In the 17th century the Great Rogation of Asiago became a sign of thanks for having escaped the plague.
By Insidecom Editorial Staff