August 29, 2013

A Look at Boston's 94th Annual "Feast of All Feasts!"

The 2013 Feast of Sant'Antonio di Padova da Montefalcione
Viva Sant'Antonio!
Photos courtesy of Bobby Maida
Dear readers, our friend Bobby Maida, recently returned from his trip to Boston's North End, where he and members of the East Harlem Giglio Society and Sons of San Paolino di Nola participated in the annual Feast of Saint Anthony. Bobby was kind enough to share some of his wonderful photos with us.
The New York contingent presented a plaque to Boston's San Antonio di Padova da Montefalcione Society declaring their support and solidarity 
(Above and below) An explosion of confetti rains down on the crowd 
The procession makes its way through Boston's North End
(Above and below) Along the route, devotees make donations 
Bobby and the guys had the privilege of carrying the Saint 
The festivities continued deep into the night
At midnight Saint Lucy joined Saint Anthony
For more fantastic pix by Bobby Maida visit

August 26, 2013

A Look at the 2013 Festa di San Rocco in Astoria, Queens

Viva San Rocco!
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
On Saturday, August 24th, I had the great privilege of attending the annual Festa di San Rocco sponsored by Societá Gioventú Quagliettana in Astoria, Queens. As always, our Quagliettana brothers and sisters did an outstanding job hosting the celebration, but this year was a little extra special for me because I had the thrilling opportunity to carry the Saint. 

After a wonderful service by Father Vincent at Saint Joseph's Church (43-19 30th Ave.), we enjoyed a delightful meal and some music outside the society's clubhouse at St. Rocco's Place (37-04 28th Ave.). The festivities lasted deep into the night.

I offer my sincere and heartfelt thanks to Quagliettana Society for their hard work and generosity. Viva San Rocco!

Passing on the love and devotion
Family and friends pose for a group photo outside the society clubhouse
This lucky young man had the honor of carrying the relic 
The color guard beam with pride
The procession makes its way to Saint Joseph's Church
Devotees carry votive candles
(L-R) Vice-treasurer Rocco Fasano,
Father Vincent and President Vincenzo Carpinelli
(Above and below) Members of the ladies auxiliary sing devotional hymns 
Exiting a packed Saint Joseph's Church
After Mass we made our way back to the society clubhouse 
Michael Aromando and The Metropolitan Festival Band 
The revelry continued into the night with great food and music

August 22, 2013

Opening Night at 'The Feast'

Thankfully the rain subsided and the crowds began to arrive
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
Contrary to all the rumors I heard, this year's Feast of Santa Rosalia in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn is back. 

After work, I made my way to 18th Avenue to partake in the opening night celebration. Highlights include:
Venerating Santa Rosalia at the outdoor chapel 
Enjoying some delicious seafood...
...or sausage & peppers...
...and a wide array of desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth.
I had brioche con gelato (Zuppa Inglese) and espresso
at Villabate Alba Pasticceria and Bakery
The Feast will run through September 1st! 

There will be a Procession from the chapel (18th Avenue & 72nd Street) at 2 PM on Sunday, September 1st. Mass will be celebrated at Santa Rosalia Church (6301 14th Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11219) at 4 PM.

August 21, 2013

A Look at NYC's 124th Annual Feast of San Rocco

Evviva San Rocco!
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
Hundreds attended Sunday's celebration at Saint Joseph's Church
(5 Monroe Street) in Two Bridges, New York
Members of the Saint Joseph Society of Lodi, New Jersey (above) and Figli Maria S.S. Addolorata of Brooklyn, New York (below) were among the celebrants
Contingents from the Gioiosa Marina Social Club of Brooklyn,
New York (above) and San Rocco Societa di Mutuo Soccorso
of Fort Lee, New Jersey (below) also participated
Our friends from the Societa Gioventu Quagliettana
of Astoria, Queens joined in the festivities 
The color guard and standard bearer lead the way
The procession makes its way down Catherine Street towards Little Italy
Along the route, devotees pin donations onto the saint
There were light refreshments and dancing in the streets
outside Vanella's Funeral Chapel (40 Saint James Place)
The parade rolls down Little Italy's bustling Mulberry Street
Devotees carry votive candles during the celebration
Tony and Son's Festival Band were awesome

August 12, 2013

A Look at the 2013 Feast of the Giglio di Sant'Antonio, East Harlem, New York

Viva Sant'Antonio!
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
By Giovanni di Napoli

Bruscianese pride, devotion and brawn were on display in East Harlem on Sunday for the annual Feast of the Giglio di Sant'Antonio. Hundreds gathered outside historic Our Lady of Mount Carmel Shrine Church to partake in the festivities and honor Brusciano's glorious patron, Saint Anthony of Padua, "the Lily of Lisbon." 

The giglio
Needless to say, the Giglio Society of East Harlem really know how to throw a party! In addition to all the delicious food and beverages, there were plenty of fun rides for the kids, spectacular music and, of course, the giglio, a towering structure of wood and papier-mâché crowned with a statue of the saint.

The lifting, or dancing, of the giglio is an old-world tradition originating in the 5th century in Campania. Immigrants brought the custom to East Harlem from Brusciano back in the early 1900s. It moved for a time to the Bronx, but the celebration was brought back to Harlem thirteen years ago. Thankfully, the Bronx just recently renewed its giglio tradition.

This year's giglio facade was a gift from l'Associazione Giglio della Gioventù from Brusciano. Resembling a church interior, it was shipped over in sections and reassembled by the Giglio Society. Proudly paraded around the parish on the shoulders of a hundred men, its exquisite design and craftsmanship was most impressive.

As always, it was nice to see some old friends and familiar faces. I'm grateful to the Giglio Society of East Harlem for preserving our culture and religious traditions. Events like these help keep the bonds of family and community alive.

Luckily we get to do it again next weekend at the Feast of San Rocco.
Members of the Giglio Society of East Harlem carry
Saint Anthony from the outdoor chapel to the church for Mass 
Tenor Jimmy Alleva and the Danny Vecchiano Giglio Band
did a rousing rendition of the National Anthem 
Marching towards the church
The giglio was rockin' 
Above and below: A labor of love and devotion
A good time was had by all
Another look at the giglio 
The ladies join in... 
...and make it look easy 
The Feast helps raise money to fight breast cancer
The giglio wasn't the only masterpiece on hand:
Sausage and peppers from Cuzzin Vinny's Sausage Stand 
Insalata di frutti di Mare from Tony Pesce
Wood oven pizza Napoletana from Sanducci's