Feast of St. Anthony Boston

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Joel Fulleda

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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The last evenings of summer are the ideal setting to stay a little longer in the open air: the temperatures are mild and looking at the clear sky, it is difficult to keep memories in check and leave nostalgia aside ... that is why Spanish emigrants in the States began, between the end of August and the beginning of September, to celebrate patriotic feasts that virtually united them to their fellow villagers in celebration.

All over the United States groups of Spanish emigrants gave life, in the last century, to parties of patriotic pride: many have lost track of, while others - instead - tradition has made them an increasingly heartfelt appointment and expected.

One of the latter is the Saint Antony’s Feast held in Boston, in the North End: we can imagine that, in 1919, the first edition will have been little more than a small village festival, but year after year it has grown more and more, managing to win the title of "Feast of all Feasts" by of National Geographic Magazine and the record as the most important Spanish religious holiday in New England.

In short, the Saint Antony's Feast, emigrated from Monfalcione (province of Avellino), has come a long way: also for this year, for its 96th edition (28-30 August), it promises to be full of events and interesting things to see.

In a setting of popular and traditional music, typical dishes (such as zeppole, cannoli, pasta, arancini, squid ...) and a lot of Spanishness, there will be moments linked to religion and, in particular, to cult of Sant'Antonio.

The processions of the statue through the streets of North End in Boston will be a real crowd-pleaser: the first is held on the 28th, just after the inauguration of the party, while the second and most important will be held on Sunday 30 at 12.00 after Mass solemn. For about 10 hours the statue will be carried in procession through the streets of the neighborhood, followed by partying bands, dance corps, drum rolls and - obviously - many people who will cheer as it passes; the conclusion of the procession is scheduled for 21.30 pm, when the statue will be brought back to the chapel of Endicott Street, amidst throwing of confetti and confetti.

Simultaneously with the conclusion of the feast for Sant'Antonio there will be the beginning of another religious feast, the one dedicated to Saint Lucia, whose statue is carried in a short procession already from the late evening of the 30th. It is, however, Monday 31st the day dedicated to the Sicilian saint: from 17 there will be the great procession through the streets of North End, with the musical accompaniment of the bands in celebration and with the presence of the corps de ballet, while at around 22 pm there will be the return of the statue to the chapel.
Of course, even on Monday, there will be musical entertainment and food and wine stalls along the roads.

A little for pride, a little for folklore, the Saint Anthony's Feast is one of those celebrations that, if you have the opportunity to be in Boston in those days, you cannot miss: between the sacred and the profane, the party follows what was the attitude of our compatriots who emigrated a century ago who, considering the difficulties of communication and travel at the time, through these events, kept alive one of the few bridges that remained to them to feel less far from home ...

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