The 29th of July is the Saints Day for Martha who was the sister of Mary and Lazarus of Bethany, a village about three kilometres from Jerusalem in the time of Jesus. In honour of sharing a name with Santa Marta, the town of Marta celebrates in her honour. The celebrations start with a Procession the previous evening by the fisherman in their boats on the lake and a procession along the streets of Marta culminating with a service and blessing. The next day in honour of Santa Marta is a local holiday with everyone in a festive mood with a large market during the day and finishing with a magnificent Firework display at 11pm. Today I am sharing with you a few of my photos from the procession on the evening of July 28th and a very short video. The complete album of the event may be viewed on Flickr.com Santa Marta July 28 2011.
The first part of the procession takes place simultaneously on land and water. We sat on the wall that runs along the lakeside towards the Fisherman’s beach where the procession was heading, from here we had excellent views of both the processions and the fireworks.
The bust of the Virgin Mary is placed on a boat decorated with lights and starting from the harbour travels along the lakeshore to the Fisherman’s port at the other end of the town, accompanied by a procession of decorated boats. After docking and a blessing the Virgin Mary or Madonna is carried back through the streets accompanied by many of the citizens of Marta. Arriving back in the centre there was a service and blessing conducted from the Commune building.
Candles were placed all along the wall beside the lake.
The Madonna statue can be seen in the first boat.
Madonna and Procession arriving at the Commune Buildings in centre of Marta.
Blessing conducted from commune office window.
A very short video of fireworks showing the Madonna arriving at her port destination.
I also wrote about this event last year and the post can be read here.
If you are interested in reading more history about this saints day, there is an explanation in Italian at the following link La Festa di Santa Marta.
Thanks to http://www.parrocchiamarta.it/ricorrenze/SMarta.html for the first picture, the rest are all my own from LindyLouMac Photo Collection.
The complete album of this event may be viewed on Flickr.com Santa Marta July 28 2011