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Madonna della Bruna Feast – Matera

2 July. Religious and pagan rites in honor of the Madonna della Bruna

Madonna della Bruna Feast - Basilicata
02 Jul 2024 Basilicata -Matera  Folklore-Traditions | Religious celebrations

Every year on July 2nd, Matera celebrates the Madonna della Bruna, a centuries-old feast in which religious and pagan rites follow one another. In 2024 the feast reaches its 635th edition.

The feast begins in the morning with the celebration of Holy Mass in Piazza San Francesco d’Assisi followed by the procession of shepherds who carry the ancient image of the Madonna painted on copper through the streets of Matera.

In the middle of the day the procession of the Triumphal Chariot takes place, which goes from the cathedral to the church of the Piccianello district.

The procession is made up of the Bruna Knights wearing historical costumes followed by vintage carriages, one carrying the image of the Madonna della Bruna, and another there is the archbishop carrying the image of the Child Jesus.

In the Piccianello district, the two images are taken to the church, waiting to be transferred in the afternoon to the nearby factory, where the triumphal chariot awaits them.

In the afternoon, the image of the Child Jesus is put back on the left arm of the statue of the Madonna which is exhibited from the church tower.

At sunset, the Triumphal Chariot with the Madonna della Bruna returns to the cathedral square and makes three laps around the square as to ask the Madonna for protection over the city.
The cart is pulled by eight mules and preceded by a procession formed by the Knights, the Cavalcade, the authorities, the diocesan clergy and the musical band.

In the evening, the “strazzo” of the chariot (the assault) takes place, that is, the destruction of the Triumphal Chariot from which the image of the Madonna was removed. For centuries, the rite of the destruction of the Bruna’s chariot refers to the celebration of the mystery of existence in which life arises from the destruction of matter and also to the pagan myth according to which, in the parts of dismembered divinities, the divine energy remains, repeating the cycle. birth-death-rebirth.

A fireworks display on the Murgia closes the celebrations.

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