Feast of San Gennaro


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San Gennaro, Feast of

September 19
San Gennaro, or St. Januarius, fourth-century bishop of Benevento, is the patron saint of Naples, Italy. According to legend, he survived being thrown into a fiery furnace and then a den of wild beasts, but was eventually beheaded during the reign of Diocletian. His body was brought to Naples, along with a vial containing some of his blood. The congealed blood, preserved since that time in the Cathedral of San Gennaro, is claimed to liquefy on the anniversary of his death each year—an event that has drawn crowds to Naples since 1389.
Scientists have recently come up with a possible explanation for the phenomenon: certain substances, including some types of mayonnaise, are normally thick gels that can be liquefied instantly by shaking or stirring. Left standing, such liquids soon revert to gels. The answer may never be known because, to date, the Roman Catholic Church has forbidden opening the vial and analyzing its chemical nature.
The Society of San Gennaro in New York City's "Little Italy" section began holding a San Gennaro festival on Mulberry Street in 1925. Since 1996, however, the festival has been organized by the Figli (Children) of San Gennaro, an organization within the Archdiocese of New York City. The 11-day event attracts nearly two million spectators. It includes processions carrying a statue of St. Januarius from the shrine at Most Precious Blood Church as well as a street fair. One of the goals of the event is to find a mate for the festival queen, who more often than not has married within two years after her festival reign. Proceeds from the festival go to low-income schools and parishes on the city's Lower East Side. In 2001, the festival was cancelled due to the nearby terrorist attacks of September 11. Instead, the church held a memorial service followed by a candlelight procession of the statue of the saint.
See also Holy Blood, Procession of the
CONTACTS:
Italian Government Tourist Board
630 Fifth Ave., Ste. 1565
New York, NY 10111
212-245-5618; fax: 212-586-9249
www.italiantourism.com
Figli di San Gennaro Inc.
109 Mulberry St.
New York, NY 10002
212-226-6427
www.sangennaro.org
SOURCES:
AnnivHol-2000, p. 157
DaysCustFaith-1957, p. 238
FolkAmerHol-1999, p. 390
GdUSFest-1984, p. 125
OxYear-1999, p. 379
(c)
References in periodicals archive ?
Mulberry Street is the home of the famous Feast of San Gennaro, a community celebration of faith and food held annually since 1926.
Guests looking for a free family friendly event in the city should make plans to attend the Feast of San Gennaro.
If you're in New York in September, head for Little Italy, the lower Manhattan area where the Annual Feast of San Gennaro is held from the 12th to 22nd of the month.
The Feast of San Gennaro festival, the oldest and best known Italian festival in the United States is a 10 day celebration of the Patron Saint of Naples REUTERS/Mike Segar</div>
The Grove/Farmers Market will welcome the fourth annual Precious Cheese Feast of San Gennaro LA presented by Ralphs, LA's most popular Italian food and cultural festival, for the second year in a row.
The Feast of San Gennaro, featuring Italian food, rides, games and entertainment, will be held 11 a.
For the third year in a row, Jimmy Kimmel, Adam Carolla and Tommy Lasorda are bringing a world-renowned East Coast tradition to Los Angeles when they host the third annual Precious Cheese Feast of San Gennaro LA Presented by Ralphs.
Taste of Chicago, June 30 through July 9 -- Feast of San Gennaro, New York City, September 14 through 24 -- Gilroy Garlic Festival, Gilroy, California, July 28 through 30 -- Yarmouth Clam Festival, Yarmouth, Maine, July 21 through 23 -- Bite of Seattle, July 21 through 23 -- The Fisherman's Feast, Boston, August 17 through 20 -- Houston Hot Sauce Festival, September 16 and 17
WHO: Jimmy Kimmel, Adam Carolla, Tommy Lasorda WHAT: Host "Prima Notte," the star-studded preview to the Precious Cheese Feast of San Gennaro Los Angeles presented by Ralphs.
We were reminiscing about growing up on the East Coast, and how much we missed the Feast of San Gennaro every year,'' said DeLuca, who produces the ``Jimmy Kimmel Live'' television show.
9's latest New York-centric fragrance, Little Italy, captures the essence of its namesake neighborhood in an eau de parfum that's set to debut this September, just in time for the Feast of San Gennaro (10 days of merriment on Mulberry Street).
MAMA MIA: The second annual Feast of San Gennaro, L.

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