East Harlem’s Festa di Giglio

2 Comments on “East Harlem’s Festa di Giglio”

  1. Tony says:

    “La Festa dei Gigli” is an ancient Catholic feast which still is held in a number of municipalities in the province of Naples, as Nola, Brusciano, Casavatore, Crispano, Villaricca and in the neighborhood of Barra in Naples. This celebration was born in Nola where this event celebrated the return to the city of Bishop Pontius Paulinus Meropio from captivity at the hands of the barbarians took place in 410 AD about. Pope Gregory I refers to the sacrifice of the Bishop, who gave his possessions, and himself to the Visigoths in exchange for the release of his countrymen enslaved as a result of the invasions of Alaric I in 410. Legend has it that in 431 the Nola citizens have welcomed his return with flowers of lilies (gigli), to be exact, and they escorted him to the bishopric.
    In memory of this event the city over the centuries has bestowed his devotion to his bishop in procession carrying flowers and candles also adorned then placed first on rudimentary structures, that then become pyramidal towers of wood called “Gigli”
    The event covers the entire day. During the morning, the lilies and the boat are transported in the main square of Nola, where is the solemn blessing of the Vescovo. From early afternoon until the following morning the structures run through lining the streets of the historic center , following a precise path along which the “cullatori” that carry them, face spectacular tests of skill and strength.


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