|By PR Newswire||
|August 6, 2014 07:00 AM EDT||
EAST HARLEM, N.Y., Aug. 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Giglio Society of East Harlem -- a local Italian American community organization devoted to East Harlem and the Catholic Saint Anthony -- announced today the 106th annual famous dancing of the Giglio will be held on August 10 after Mass at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in East Harlem, New York. On August 10, one of the most spectacular aspects of New York City's immigrant heritage will come to life in old Italian Harlem -- home of the famous Rao's Restaurant -- the dancing of the Giglio.
In addition to delicious Italian food, music and games, the highlight of the Feast is Sunday when 120 men hoist on their shoulders the Giglio then bounce it up and down, in a custom that dates back to medieval Italy. The Giglio is a beautifully carved and decorated five-story wooden tower topped by a statue of St. Anthony. Over 1000 Italian Americans and other ethnic groups attend this important and unique annual New York City tradition begun in 1908.
The dancing of the Giglio in East Harlem started 106 years ago, when hard-working farmers and craftsmen left the impoverished Italian town of Brusciano, Italy (near Naples), to sail for 30 long days to new opportunities in New York City. They could not bring much with them, apart from their deep faith and beloved cultural tradition which included a devotion to their town's patron, St. Anthony, and the custom of honoring him on his feast day by dancing his image on a giglio. Poor as they were, these immigrants took the time every year to build, lovingly decorate, and parade with the Giglio, as they have done almost every year since. Their custom enriched the street life of New York City, and attracted crowds of the curious to the streets of what was called Italian Harlem.
Today, those who trace their roots to the neighborhood like to return on St. Anthony's feast day and take part in their parents' and grandparents' tradition, and meet old friends they remember from childhood. The festival includes a Mass at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, the home of a famous Madonna statue, which bears a crown sent by the Pope to mark the many miracles associated with it. After the Mass, the men of the Giglio Society hoist the enormous tower—which was sent all the way from Brusciano, Italy—and dance with it through the streets to whooping crowds.
"All are welcome for this dazzling celebration of Italian and New York history and of the heritage of the hard-working immigrants to help to make this city great," said Feast Host Member Mitchell Farbman.
It is like nothing else you will see this side of Italy!
Pleasant Ave between 114th – 115th Street outside Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church
Paranza Mass, Noon
Dancing of the Giglio: 1:00 pm
Festivities with food and games will open Thursday August 7 - Sunday August 10
The Saint Anthony community procession will be on Saturday August 9 at Noon
The children's Giglio will be danced on Saturday evening August 9 at 6:00 pm
Please Note: THE GIGLIO WILL BE DANCED RAIN OR SHINE
SOURCE Giglio Society of East Harlem
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