Sunday, September 18, 2011

The 85th Feast of San Gennaro, Little Italy


The Annual Feast of San Gennaro is New York City’s longest-running, biggest and most revered religious outdoor festival in the United States. This is the 85th anniversary of the festival, which will be held Thursday, September 15, through Sunday, September 25, 2011, on the streets of the historic Little Italy neighborhood in lower Manhattan. This neighborhood served as the first home in America for hundreds of thousands of Italian immigrants who came here seeking to improve their lives, beginning in the early part of the 20th century.



Since 1996, the festival has been run by the "Figli di San Gennaro, Inc."(Children of San Gennaro), a not-for-profit community organization dedicated to keeping alive the spirit and faith of the early Italian immigrants.  San Gennaro is the Patron Saint of Naples, Italy. When newly arrived immigrants from Naples settled along Mulberry Street, in what would become the "Little Italy" section of New York City, they decided to continue a tradition they had followed in their hometown in Italy. That was to celebrate the day in 305 A.D. when Saint Gennaro was martyred for the faith.  Each year on September 19th,  a religious procession of the Statue of San Gennaro, winds along the length of Mulberry and Mott Streets, between Canal and Houston Streets. The procession begins after a celebratory Mass held at the Most Precious Blood Church on Mulberry Street, which is also the National Shrine of San Gennaro.



My husband and I went to the feast on Friday evening, and strolled the many blocks looking at all the food, rides, games, live music and local sights along with the rest of the large crowd. The feast is quite popular and attracts up to a million visitors of all ethnic groups over its eleven days.



The predominantly Italian food was in abundance and it was all very tempting!



There were all kinds of gelato, pastries, calzones, pizzas, pastas, stuffed clams, seafood salad, fried calamari, rice balls, sausage and peppers and onions, roasted pork, beef and chicken, sauteed broccoli rabe, biscotti, a nougat candy called torrone, and Zeppoles, which are fried dough sweetened with powdered sugar.



 More than 35 of Little Italy's most famous Italian restaurants provide outdoor dining facilities for the event. We decided to dine al fresco at one of my husband's many favorite restaurants in Little Italy.  I had linguine with a light tomato sauce yopped with shrimp and clams, and my husband had Veal Sorrentino, which is basically veal cutlets cooked with prosciutto, eggplant and mozzarella cheese.  Delicious!



 We stayed well into the late evening, enjoying all the festivities. 

According to the Feast of San Gennaro web site : "The continued growth of the Feast over the past ten years has enabled Figli di San Gennaro, Inc. to donate more than $1.6-million to worthy causes providing valuable services for children and education in the Little Italy community and beyond. At the conclusion of each annual Feast, sizeable donations are distributed to scores of worthy organizations in all five boroughs and the tri-state area to help the needy and the young. No other public festival donates more money to charity than does the Feast of San Gennaro."


  Below is a short video I took of one of the vendors at the feast, you can also watch it at this link.



The Feast of San Gennaro is a wonderful way to enjoy one of the old time ethnic neighborhoods of New York City and enjoy some delicious food and support a good cause.  We wouldn't miss it!

I'm adding this post to "Mosaic Monday" event on Mary's blog Little Red House, the new Our World Tuesday,  and "Rednesday" on Sue's blog It's A Very Cherry World. Thanks to the hosts!


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60 comments:

Barbara F. said...

Can you believe I have never been to this Feast?! Great photos and I enjoyed the video, too. xo

Pondside said...

I can see why you wouldn't want to miss this - the food alone would bring me, but the crowds must be a show too!

Lily Hydrangea said...

Ahhh! I love this feast. sadly I haven't been to it in years but my memory of riding the Ferris wheel at night and seeing all the lights along the street, looking down from high atop over everything has never faded.
I don't think they have the Ferris wheel anymore though!
Thanks for posting this Pat.
: )

black eyed susans kitchen said...

Thank you for taking us with you Pat...I love the feast. Haven't been in years, but I remember walking down the street sharing a sausage and peppers sandwich with my husband. So much fun and so colorful and exciting!

Genie said...

Well, you have really blown me away with all of your fab shots of the Italian festival. My, would I love to have been there with you...so much great food and music...and so many people on the streets. You did a superb job putting the mosaics together. KUDOS! genie

Mary said...

Oh good lord, now I have to go and make some pasta at 10:00 pm! You did warn me, however... lol Thanks for taking us all along, Pat! xoxo

PS -- tomorrow I'm making zeppole! lol

LR @ Magnificent or Egregious said...

Great post, the food must be amazing and the atmosphere too!

Karen said...

I loved your posting!! My mother was of Italian descent.. her father from Sicily and her mother from near Rome. I have never been able to get enough of the customs and food. Thank you for sharing your evening at the festival with us. I loved the video!!
Karen
Ladybug Creek

Sheila said...

Your collages look good enough to eat. It must be great to smell the wonderful food and very tempting. I can see why you wouldn't miss it. It looks like a great Festival!

Oliag said...

Mr O and I went to the festival one year quite some time ago...I have to say that the crowds were overwhelming...but the food was delicious!

Rajesh said...

Beautiful shots. There is something for everyone here.

camp and cottage living said...

This is a festival I would loved to have attended. My goodness that food is unbelieveable.Yum, yum, yum!

Ginny said...

Wow! These collages are mouth watering! The whole thing looksmamazing!

The Gathering Place said...

What a wonderful place that would be right now. I love traditional festivals!

Paz said...

One of these days, I will have to go to this celebration in Little Italy.

Riet said...

What a wonderful feast. I love it when people keep the old customs and you can see that so many people come and enjoy. All the food looks so delicious . I just had breakfast but I get hungry again. LOL Will have lasagna today. Have a great day Pat

Kamana said...

oh the food, the glorious food! i am drooling here.

Old Kitty said...

What a colourful festival! I love that all is draped in the colours of the Italian flag - red, green and white!! Looks like everyone is having a great time and the food stalls are just so mouth-watering! Glad it goes on for a week too - so that people can enjoy all that is there each day! Great stuff!! Thanks for the pics and info and the fab clip too, Pat!! Happy Feast of San Gennaro!!! Take care
x

eileeninmd said...

Pat, I would be in heaven at this festival. I love Italian food. It is great that is runs for 11 days. Most ethnic festivals in Baltimore only last a weekend. I enjoyed looking at all the food and your photos. Have a wonderful week.

GrandmaK said...

What a wonderful post. Your mosaics are wonderfully "fattening" to the eye, though I'm certain that if I ever consumed the food pictured I'd be perfectly content! Have a wonderful day! Cathy

Tracy said...

Oh, what a feast... in so many ways! The food alone is outstanding to see! I would love to go.. right now... LOL! Loved seeing the video too. You always show us the treats, Pat! :o) Happy Week ((HUGS))

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

What a fabulous event Pat. I wouldn't want to leave. I probably would come away fat as a pig. (smile)
Sam

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Looks like another great day trip Pat! I can almost smell the food:@)

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Oh, my goodness!! I'd be in food heaven! LOL! Would NOT be helpful with the dieting I'm trying to do. LOL!! And, just plain festive fun. Great adventure. blessings ~ tanna

Mister Meatball said...

Thanks for this. It's been awhile.

I can taste the peaches and wine!

Carol said...

Great shots, Pat! I haven't been to the festival in years and we almost made it in this weekend, but a few in our group didn't want to fight the crowds. Too bad, the festival is always a great time.

Pamela Gordon said...

This looks like a very fun and interesting event. All those food choices look wonderful. Enjoy!

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

It sounds like a most worthwhile event! Good food...good cause...I wouldn't miss it either.

ellen b. said...

Oh my lands! This gives new meaning to Hog Heaven. Wonderful photos. I'd love to take a stroll through that festival.

podso said...

The video was a great ---wow to the sausages! It was nice to get a sense of it all. Reminds me of our Greek festival, though on a much, much larger scale!

Chatty Crone said...

Can I fly there for a visit? Gosh we are from Chicago and while I really do love GA - I miss the ethnic areas and festivals. They were so much fun and the food so awesome.

I love putting people together - so I am going to send you someone's blog.

Love,
sandie

Jo said...

OMGoodness Pat I wish I was there NOW!..yum what a feast,I could bust a gut for sure.
~JO

podso said...

not too much LOL ... I do have some mixed feelings about using food for decorating ... at least split peas and lentils are quite cheap! Wishing you well on the diet change ...

nanny said...

Sounds and looks like a great Friday evening. All of the wonderful food choices....bet it was hard to decide!

betsy said...

Festivals such as this make a real city. Those of us in the provinces have to settle for "Mule Day".

Ingmarie We said...

Your posts are always very special. Fantastic photos. The food look delicious.

Grace said...

I love love this post!Your pictures are incredible. I am going tonight with my niece so we could see the procession. Not that I have not seen this before! lol I know that we will have cannoli at Ferrara's Dinner we have not decided yet. Oh the choices are too much. lol Hugs and canolli kisses Grace

Donnie said...

I love all the photos of these great festival. Wish I could have been there.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Great post, very interesting. Of course I'm starving at seeing all the food.

Yvette said...

Would love to have been there too, Pat. I haven't attended in many MANY years, but I have happy memories of the feast from when I was much younger.

Great post. Loved seeing all the pix. :)

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

That would be an incredible event to attend! All the sights...and scents! Wonderful! ♥ And you are always so brave to get out and do so much in the crowds of people! I'm glad you take lots of photos to share! ♥

ARLENE said...

Thanks for the vicarious trip. I haven't been to the feast in years.

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

Wonderful photos!!!Oh how I would have loved to spend a day there. My grandparents were born and raised in Italy. My grandmother was born in Costel-de-Baronia and my grandfather was raised in Faggia near eastern Rome I believe. I have an affinity for all Italian Festivals.

The French Hutch said...

Wow, Pat this looks like so much fun. It looks like a scene from the streets of Italy. I'm sure the food is amazing, it looks soooooo delicious. This is most interesting to me so thanks for sharing.

~Emily
The French Hutch

Ciao Chow Linda said...

You are a trooper Pat. I went once to the feast but the crowds were overwhelming and I've never been back. I do wish I could have a few of those cannoli and sfogliatelle, but I'd prefer Little Italy at a quieter time of year.

Jeanne said...

Hi Pat, San Gennaro sounds and looks like a festival I would love to experience. I love the fact that the money goes to needy children and good causes. The video and your photos are a great example of what we are missing. Smile!

I scrolled down to the chicken Lime soup recipe. Mmmmmm, I assure you I will make that soup. Pinterest sounds interesting and I will check it out.

Hugs, Jeanne

M.Kate said...

wow! I'd love to be there and all those food, you are making me hungry. Hope you are well, hugs..MK

Ebie said...

The event is so festive, besides the good cause!

I will stick to the dessert!

Your photos are always fascinating and the post so detailed, it seems like I was there. We do celebrate here too, but it is always crowded.

Arija said...

I probably would have gone there for dinner every day of the festival. Thank you so much for sharing this with Our World.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Wow! I'd read about this celebration over there but I hadn't seen any pictures before. IT looks fantastic.

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

This looks like such a fun and delicious feast. The linguine with clam and shrimp you ordered looks wonderful and so does your husband's veal. All of the food that the vendors offer looks amazing.

Brenda said...

Oh, MY, Pat, your photos are great! Looks as if one could reach right in and grab some of that delicious food!

I've said it before and I'll say it again: your blog is the best. It puts us right smack in the middle of all of the festivities of my favorite city!

Grandmother said...

Looks like a festa here in Italy. Isn't the food fabulous?!

Larry D said...

Wow, the food, the colors, what a feast!

Ann said...

Looks like a wonderful place to make an annual tradition. All the red is so gorgeous and the food!What can I say, it looks too yummy!!! Go glad it has been around for such a long time.
Ann

Lovella ♥ said...

I kept saying while we had our race through New York .. .I think we should be eating something authentic. We never did really find that authentic meal. .and here it is. It looks fantastic.

JDaniel4's Mom said...

This looks like a lot of fun. The food looks fabulous.

Annesphamily said...

There is nothing like a festival or bazaar as the local Catholic churches call their summer fests. This one is a huge event! The food looks amazing. It reminds me of my first job where I worked with some older Italian ladies and they taught me so many different things about their heritage. I still have my cookbook primarily filled with their recipes. It is from my hometown and a Catholic church there that has a large Italian congregation. Ah...such fun memories.

Claudia said...

The feast has certainly grown more impressive over time. I remember (and happily) the sausage and peppers and zeppoles that were the standard fare. Nice to hear that it is more organized with a charitable aspect.

Pat said...

I can't tell you haw much I enjoy your blog. I visit it time and again before I visit the city. -Pat
www.patseastcoasttravels.com