The Marta Festival

Every year since pagan times, the town of Marta in Umbria, Italy, has held the Barabbata festival, celebrating the cycle of seasons and the fertility of land and sea. It’s a wonderful spectacle that the men and boys of the village participate in, hauling elaborate floats past thousands of spectators and up a long hill to culminate in blessings at the local church and a picnic with plenty of pork sandwiches and wine. Women aren’t allowed to walk in the parade, so they line the street and lean out from second story windows, tossing colorful flower petals. We had a wonderful time photographing the festival!