Lily Festival

(redirected from Festa dei Giglio)

Lily Festival (Festa dei Giglio)

Begins June 22
The week-long Lily Festival in Nola, Napoli, Italy, honors San Paolino (St. Paulinus), the town's patron saint. Legend has it that the festival began in the fourth century as a "welcome home" celebration when Paolino, who had placed himself in slavery to release a local widow's son, returned from Africa. Eight tradesmen representing the town greeted him by strewing flowers at his feet.
Eventually the eight tradesmen were represented by sticks covered in lilies, and over the years the lily sticks ( gigli in Italian) grew longer and more ornate. Today they are from 75 feet to nearly 100 feet high. Since they weigh about 50 tons, it takes 40 men to carry each one. After a traditional blessing is given, the crowd throws flowers into the air and begins a costumed procession that meanders through the narrow streets of the town, led by a boat carrying a statue of San Paolino and featuring the eight huge gigli, each of which is surrounded by its own symphony orchestra.
See also Giglio Feast
CONTACTS:
Italian Government Tourist Board
630 Fifth Ave., Ste. 1565
New York, NY 10111
212-245-5618; fax: 212-586-9249
www.italiantourism.com
SOURCES:
BkHolWrld-1986, Jun 28
DaysCustFaith-1957, p. 150
GdWrldFest-1985, p. 118
Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, Fourth Edition. © 2010 by Omnigraphics, Inc.