Vesuvius Day is traditionally celebrated on August 24th. This is a dramatic day dedicated to the natural disaster that happened in 79 AD when the settlements at the foot of Mount Vesuvius were buried under streams of volcanic gases, ash, and rock fragments. The victims of the volcanic eruption were about 16,000 people who did not have time to leave their cities.
The date of Vesuvius Day is associated with the day of the volcanic eruption. In 79 AD, there were several settlements at the foot of Mount Vesuvius, including Pompeii, Herculaneum, Stabiae, and Little Oplontis. They were buried under streams of volcanic gases, ash, and rock fragments when Vesuvius woke up. The victims of the volcanic eruption were about 16,000 people who did not have time to leave their cities. The city of Misen, located near Naples, also almost suffered.
Recent research suggests that Vesuvius Day is incorrectly celebrated on August 24th! In 2018, scientists discovered an inscription made in charcoal on the wall of a room in Pompeii that read “16 days before the calendars of November.” This is the exact Roman designation for the day of the month, and it suggests the eruption occurred on October 17th. This is further supported by evidence that the harvest had already ended and that the victims were dressed too warmly for August.
How to take part
To celebrate Vesuvius Day, you can watch films about the eruption such as The Last Days of Pompeii (1926), Pompeii (2014), and episodes of the 4th season of Doctor Who (2008). You can also read about the eruption to learn more about this natural disaster.
When is Vesuvius Day celebrated in 2023?
Vesuvius Day is observed on August 24 each year.