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8.I.F

New York City (NYC)
Feast of San Gennaro

 
 
san_gennaro
Photo Credit: Best of NY
 
     
 
Update:
The 2014 Festival will be held from September 11th to 21st.
Click here for more details.

 
     
 

The Feast of San Gennaro is New York’s longest running, best known and most religiously revered street festival. It is held in New York City and Naples every year to commemorate the life and death of Saint Jannuarius, the patron saint of Naples, who was martyred in 305 CE. In recent years, the festival has also taken place in Los Angeles, transported there by Italian immigrants who relocated from New York to the west coast. However, the event on the west coast is a more humble affair.

The first Feast was held in New York City in 1926 by immigrants from Naples, who settled along Mulberry Street in the Little Italy section of Manhattan and decided to continue the tradition of honoring their beloved saint. Eventually, the Feast would grow into an 11-day event. While the religious component still plays the leading role in the Feast of San Gennaro, there is also a great party atmosphere. Over a million attendees of various cultural and ethnic backgrounds fill the streets of Little Italy to enjoy Italian food, listen to live music and participate in various fun activities such as a cannoli eating contest and carnival rides. The streets are adorned with festive banners and arches in the colors of the Italian flag.

Culmination of the festival happens in September, when a Celebratory Mass is held at the Most Precious Blood Church on Mulberry Street. It is immediately followed by a religious procession carrying the statue of Saint Gennaro.

Over the course of the 11 day festival, Little Italy restaurants welcome the public, with many of them even providing outdoor eating facilities for the occasion. In addition, street vendors line up along Mulberry and Mott Streets to sell Italian food and a variety of souvenirs.

The Feast is organized and presented by the Figli di San Gennaro, a non-profit organization.

 
     
 
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Sources:
www.sangennaro.org
GoNYC.About.com/autumninnewyork/SanGennaro
NYC.com/Arts-Attractions/FeastofSanGennaro
 
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