Festa della Madonna della Bruna

The Festa della Bruna (Festa di Maria Santissima della Bruna, Festa della Madonna della Bruna) is the principal festival of the town of Matera, in Italy’s southern Basilicata region. Although the festival is in honour of the town’s sacred protectress, the Madonna della Bruna, it is far from being a purely religious event. Tens of thousands of local people turn out onto the streets for a week of celebrations with coloured lights, market stalls, town bands and grand processions. Events climax with a pagan-style rite of destruction, before a valedictory firework display.