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Did you know that there is a very special ceremony on the day of the Pentecost in the Pantheon? A magical cascade of roses. Since there is a large circular opening in the roof, the Oculus, they use it to create a magical celebration on the day of Pentecost. A cascade of rose petals which is absolutely enchanting! Every year at Pentecost the rain that enters the Pantheon is a magical and spectacular shower of red rose petals. The event is next week…. Ask us, if you want to know more!
Celebrating the Pentecost in the Pantheon
The Pentecost is a holiday once celebrated the end of the harvest. In the Christian tradition it commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Virgin Mary and the Apostles gathered in the Last Supper. In addition it also has a religious significance linked to the resurrection.
The Pentecost (also called Whit Sunday) is a Christian holiday which takes place on the 50th days after Easter Sunday. Since its date depends on the date of Easter, Pentecost is a “moveable feast”. It is one of the Great feasts in the Eastern Orthodox Church and a solemnity in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church. It is also a Festival in the Lutheran Churches, and a principal feast in the Anglican Communion. Many Christian denominations provide a special liturgy for this holy celebration.
The Magical Cascade of Roses in the Pantheon
The Pentecost ceremony at the Pantheon consists of two basic moments. The first is the religious service in the morning (usually at 10.30 am). This mass is followed at noon (12 noon sharp) by the magical throwing of thousands of pink petals through the Oculus. The shower of red petals is usually handled by firemen. They reach the top of the Pantheon’s dome at a height of about 43 metres and spread thousands of red rose petals on the worshippers throwing them from the Oculus. This ceremony is almost two thousand years old, but was suspended for many years, only being reinstated in 1995.
But why roses? Simply because for the early Christians in Rome, the rose, besides being a symbol of love, also represented the Holy Spirit. It was also a symbol of the blood shed by Christ on the Cross for the redemption of mankind. The event is a unique spectacle full of poeticism and symbolism even for non-believers.
Interested in visiting the Pantheon or other monuments and basilicas in Rome, discovering more anecdotes about the places, characters and events of the Eternal City? Take one of our TOURS and we’ll share events like the magical ‘cascade’ of red and pink petals falling from the central Oculus of the Pantheon immediately after the Pentecost mass.