Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Saint Anthony Religious Festival, Part 2, North End Neighborhood, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
The 97th Annual Italian Religious Street Festival in honor of Saint Anthony Di Padua Da Montefalcione, was observed recently in the vibrant neighborhood of Boston's North End. I was here for the opening evening (at this link) and returned again for the final day of the celebration.
The statue of Saint Anthony is carried through the crowded streets while residents shower it and the crowd with confetti and attach money to the statue.
Since it was a beautiful weekend summer day, the narrow streets were hoppin' with outside visitors in addition to the local residents.
My favorite pasta man was readying his offerings for the hungry crowd.
It was sometimes difficult to move along the narrow streets there were so many people.
Confetti often rained down from balconies as the statue of Saint Anthony passed beneath or nearby.
If you were standing in the right place (or wrong place), a blizzard of confetti fell on you. I was still finding confetti in my clothes the next day.
A love of faith, and culture, and community was palpable as I wondered among the celebrating residents of this closely knit Italian American neighborhood in Boston's North End. Their joy and happiness was contagious. Many would pose with and/or kiss the statue of Saint Anthony.
I love the picture within the picture on the cellphone.
The eight men who carried the statue were assisted by others who cleared the crowd to allow the statue to maneuver.
I don't know who the men were carrying the statue but, I expect it was quite an honor to be chosen to do so.
The white streamers attached to the statue were held by others as the procession wound its way through the neighborhood. I was especially impressed at the foresight and planning by this woman. She has a pin cushion attached to her wrist to pin dollar bills to the streamer as she receives random gifts from parade watchers.
And music filled the air and echoed through the narrow streets. This Italian -American band from Lawrence, Massachusetts, played uplifting Italian marches as the procession wound through the crowd.
Cannoli Girl was just getting set up as I passed by. She didn't have her treats out for sale yet but,........
........ a couple booths down the street, there were always more great cannolis ready to be filled and eaten!
One of the advantages of a multi-cultural city like Boston is the rich fabric of life that together we all weave bringing our respective traditions to the mix. It is worth remembering that America is a land of inclusion more than exclusion - a land where we can appreciate our differences and our similarities.
I heard so much spoken Italian today that I felt like I was visiting in Lucca, Italy, one of my favorite places on the planet (my blog posts from there at this link).