East Harlem Giglio Society to hoist new 5 1/2 ton tower in annual Catholic religious festival

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.

Hundreds gathered on Pleasant Ave. in East Harlem last August to lift and walk Giglio along Pleasant Ave. to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church on E. 115th. St. The Giglio Society of East Harlem is a group of men who have dedicated their lives to honor San Antonio, their beloved saint. Their love and devotion is on display each year during the Annual Italian Festival held in East Harlem.

Hundreds gathered on Pleasant Ave. in East Harlem last August to lift and walk Giglio along Pleasant Ave. to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church on E. 115th. St. The Giglio Society of East Harlem is a group of men who have dedicated their lives to honor San Antonio, their beloved saint. Their love and devotion is on display each year during the Annual Italian Festival held in East Harlem.

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 / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/uptown/uplifting-festival-e-harlem-catholics-article-1.1421857#ixzz2bZJ5M9Wk

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