The honoring of the feast of Corpus Christi has been an important European celebration since the 16th century. Bright festivals take place across Poland, Liechtenstein and Germany, with celebrations today spreading as far as Peru, Guatemala, Trinidad and parts of the United States.
Even more fascinating is the wide range of celebrations. Some feature performances with sculptural dancers (Venezuela), revelers covered in moss (Spain) and competitions to adorn homes with flowers and garlands (Poland).
The celebration of Genzano di Roma, stretching from Piazza IV Novembre to the Church of Santa Maria della Cima, is particularly gorgeous.
Italian artists work to create painstakingly detailed carpets made of flowers.
The festival is known as Infiorata. (It translates to English simply as "flower festival.")
Infiorata has been happening every June for the last two centuries.
The artists come together to agree on a theme beforehand so the festival, when viewed from a distance, has cohesion. The festival takes place on Via Italo Belardi. Throughout the celebration, a masked parade walks over the carpets in medieval dress.
To create the flower carpets, artists sketch out a pattern in chalk.
They then collect thousands and thousands of petals, color-coded to the chalk outlines. The artists work in small teams, sifting the petals.
Grains and sand help to make up the borders and details.
The process takes several days to complete.
Keep in mind, these several days take place in the sweltering, Italian summer sun.
Still, the results are absolutely stunning.
The flower petals against the colored sands add texture and romance.
It's amazing the vibrancy of the colors and how well the artists place them carefully on the tapestry.
These fine sands add a slightly metallic shimmer to the piece.
Seen from afar, the tapestries form realistic figures in stunning detail.
The style ranges from classical to more playful and illustrative.
While others prefer to more carefully mimic the stylings of a traditional woven rug.
These floral masterpieces don't last long – once Corpus Christi is gone, these brilliant artworks are swept up and the streets lay bare in wait for the next year's festivities.
Via: Italian Ways | Wikipedia