Patronal Feast: Maria SS della Bruna

This is the most important feast for the inhabitants of this city. Maria SS della Bruna is celebrated the 2nd of July.

There are many legends that are told in Matera on this Feast.

One of these tells of an unknown girl , appeared to a tiller of the ground to return to the city of Matera . The girl asked the man a good ride on his wagon and these , after having driven her to the gates of the city , near the church of Piccianello , saw her become statue . The Virgin then greeted the incredulous peasant whispering these words : ” And ‘ so , in a wagon decorated , I want to go every year in my town ” For this reason the Count Tramontano , then lord of Matera , promised the city all you need for the holding of the Feast in honor of the patron saint , even a new cart annually . The Matera to test the pain endured tyrant , assaulted the Chariot triumphant forcing the Count to keep his promise . The result is one of the oldest stories in the world that has more than 600 years .

The Feast , in an extraordinary set of sacred and profane , begins at five in the morning with a procession of shepherds , with the picture of the Virgin led throughout the city and announced by rows of barrels exploded in celebration . In late morning the statue is carried in procession from the Church of St. Francis of Assisi to the parish of Piccianello Archbishop with all the clergy in tow . Parade also to accompany the Virgin “knights ” of Brown , more than 90 riders with the armor of yore .

The traditional wagon is made of papier mache to be mounted on the motor structure , and is drawn by four pairs of mules . In the city the art of papier-mâché is practiced for centuries . The chariot with the statue of Maria della Bruna along the central streets of the city , starting in the late afternoon from the parish of Piccianello and making the opposite direction with respect to the procession of the morning ; came to the Church of St. Francis of Assisi three laps of the square as a sign of taking possession of the city by the patron , and right after the statue of the Madonna is sent down from the chariot to be placed , begins the last part of the journey towards the central Piazza Vittorio Veneto where the cart will be attacked and destroyed by the crowd .

In the tumultuous descent towards the square , the wagon is escorted by the Knights of Bruna and volunteers around it to prevent impatient guys destroy it before arrival .Solitamente , the cart undergoes the assault at the church of Saint Lucia , just at the entrance of the square , unable almost never arrive intact until the middle of the square . The attackers are trying with great vehemence to bring home a piece of the wagon as a trophy and as a sign of good wishes ( the article above is blessed by the archbishop , because on him the virgin will arrive in the city ) before it only the skeleton remains . The centuries-old rite also ends between the general rejoicing , and the following year a new wagon will be designed and built . This is a collective ritual of rebirth regeneration ancient , Matera for the new year is after all . It closes a cycle with the ” tear ” of the wagon to start a new one .


The Patronal Feast ends at night with an explosion of fireworks that illuminate the Gravina and the Sassi of Matera . ” A mmogghjë to mmogghjë to quonn cj vahnë ” ( always better next year ) , is the final wish of Matera for a party even more beautiful .