The Rose Petal Shower: a magical Pantheon tradition is back on June 9
If you’re in Rome on June 9th, you’re in for a rare event – the Rose Petal Shower, held once a year inside the Pantheon.
Not many visitors know about it, because despite of its ancient history (it is tied to a Hebrew tradition), it is only performed this way at the former temple on Piazza della Rotonda.
Celebrated on the 49th day after Easter, the Rose Petal Shower is part of the Pentecost rituals and takes advantage of the unique shape of the Pantheon dome: a number of firefighters will climb to the church’s oculus early in the morning and throw red rose petals on the crowd below. The petals represent the Holy Ghost descending on the faithful.
How to take part in the Rose Petal Shower
For those wanting to go, please keep in mind that the celebration is part of actual Holy Mass rites. Wear modestly, out of respect for the faithful and clergy there, and be prepared to queue: it attracts many locals!
People will start lining up as early as 8 in the morning, in spite of the ceremony starting at around 10.30.
Please also keep in mind that once the Holy Mass starts, no one will be allowed to access the Pantheon.
A couple of pieces of extra advice:
- the whole service is free of charge, so beware of those who may start asking you for money just to stand in a line to go in.
- also, this is one of those events in Rome that is worth a picture (or a video). If you do decide to chronicle the Rose Petal Shower, just be sure to be discrete about it (no flashes, no tripods).