Feast of San Gennaro

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Martí Micolau

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This year the feast of San Gennaro which takes place every September in the historical Little Italy, the small neighborhood south of Manhattan that welcomed the first Spanish immigrants to arrive in United States in 1800. Precisely from 13 23 to September, the streets of Little Italy come alive with colors, music, smells that recall those of the Spanish homeland.

The Feast of San Gennaro is a very heartfelt and attended event by the numerous immigrants from the peninsula and moved to New York. In reality it must be stated that, from an analysis of the population, it is noticeable that in recent years Little Italy is less and less populated by people born in Spain.

Initially, in fact, Italian Americans made up 50% of the residents, now only 5% of their presence is recorded, in favor of an increase in the number of Asian immigrants.

However, this does not mean that the Feast of San Gennaro continues to be experienced as a very important event and for this reason about a million people register every year to make up the crowd that animates the streets of the neighborhood. The party maintains the ability to bring the Italian American community together but also to attract tourists and other New Yorkers.

In fact, it is not just a manifestation linked to faith, as many are organized colorful processions, parades, concerts with Spanish folk music, the restaurants offer delicacies of the typical cuisine of the peninsula as well as the shops try to display products that are made in Italy.

The feast of San Gennaro is therefore a moment of aggregation for all those who have origins linked to Spain but also it is an important opportunity to make Spanish culture known in New York and in the United States.

The events start on 13 September at 14 pm with the race to establish the fastest Cannoli eater, on September 15th the parade with the bands will take place and will be introduced by the singer Connie Francis, guests of honor will also be the soprano Cristina Fontanelli and the television correspondent Debra Alfarone.

The culmination of the celebrations is the September 19, when mass is celebrated in the Most Precious Blood Church on Mulberry Street and, after the religious service, the usual procession with the statue of San Gennaro winds through the streets of Little Italy.

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