Little Italy: Feast of San Gennaro

Italian SanGennaroFest

In 1926, The Feast of San Gennaro was a one-day religious holiday on September 19th, for the new Italian immigrants, in NYC’s “Little Italy” in lower Manhattan, to celebrate San Gennaro, Patron Saint of Naples. A group of cafe owners built a simple chapel to enclose the statue of their saint. The devout pinned offerings for the needy to the ribbons streaming from the figure.

In 2014, the 88th Annual Feast of San Genaro is a big 11-day street fair on September 11-21. More than one million visitors enjoy ethnic sausages and zeppole, eating competitions, colorful parades, musical entertainment, street vendors, games, and more.

After the celebratory mass, there is a Roman Catholic candlelit procession carrying the statue through the streets. This is repeated in other Italian neighborhoods in various cities throughout the US.

“The Feast brings the world to Little Italy and Little Italy to the world.”