New Yorkers visited relatives in Brusciano, Italy, the Neapolitan village where the tradition originated, and the Italians sent back the parts for a brand new statue.
Revisiting your heritage can make for a pretty heavy experience.
Especially for members of the East Harlem Giglio Society, who journeyed to the small Neapolitan village from which their forebears migrated to New York more than a century back, and returned with a new centerpiece for their historic religious festival.
This Sunday, 125 men and women will hoist a 51/2 ton statue and carry it — along with more than a dozen musicians — through the streets of East Harlem, honoring an annual tradition that their ancestors brought over from Brusciano, Italy, in 1901.
For the first time, the 82-foot-tall tower’s outer parts were made in the Naples suburb from which the Giglio celebration originated.
“The Bruscianos actually sent us a Giglio that we’re lifting this year,” said Mitchell Farbman, 66, one of the lifters for Sunday’s event.
The annual parade marks the centerpiece of a weekend-long festival that’s rooted in the story of a miracle, which Catholics believe to have been performed by St. Anthony of Padua.
By Shannon E. Ayala / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS