Italian festivals in the usa italy grade 9 electricity test


For those of us who live in Italian American communities, festival time can be better than Christmas. Whether a festival for a patron saint, traditional foods or ethnic pride, Italian American festivals bring out the best in the community and in many places are the highlight of the year. Everywhere the early Italian immigrants settled they brought with them their traditions and the strongest of these bonds to the Old Country was the Catholic faith and its adherents to its calendar of saints feast days.

Besides the major religious feasts celebrated widely, there were also many feasts dedicated to local saints and these traditions were reintroduced once immigrants from the same parts of Italy starting forming their own enclaves in places like New York and Boston. Some were small affairs held in households or in the side streets, while others grew to huge celebrations complete with amusements and live performances all illuminated by multi-colored lights hanging above the streets.

Unfortunately, as the descendants of the first immigrants left the old neighborhoods, many festivals dwindled down until they ceased to be celebrated. The Italian ethnicity was being quickly assimilated into the larger American culture and with this change, many forgot these traditions and their ancestral language. However, on a positive note resurgence in ethnic pride among Italian Americans has seen a rebirth of the Italian festival in the last twenty years, with new festivals springing up all across the country. Not only are these new festivals gaining momentum, but it seems that in many places the younger generations are carrying on the older festivals with renewed gusto – and becoming a boon to their respective city’s tourism in the process. Traditional Religious Italian Festivals

These are the festivals that the original immigrants brought with them and continued to practice in places such as New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and New Orleans. Many of these have been celebrated for close to one hundred years and are continuations of even older Italian festivals dating from the middle ages. The focal point of these festivals is usually a particular saint that is significant to the community, be it a local patron saint or a saint dedicated to a local occupation. In New York City’s Little Italy descendants of the original Neapolitan immigrants venerate San Gennaro, patron saint of Naples while in many fishing communities (like my hometown of Gloucester, Ma) St. Peter is venerated as the patron saint of fishermen. A large part of the veneration process includes an image of the saint, often a beautifully carved statue that is paraded through the community and displayed at the local church or an elaborately decorated temporary altar. Many of the traditional festivals still hold a nine-day session of the rosary known as a novena before the actual feast begins on that particular saint’s feast day. Once the feast begins, festivities can range from solemn processions to boisterous parades, from Italian music and games to a full-blown carnival.

In today’s world where the festivals can often be taken for granted as just a great party, it is the novena, and the other religious aspects that keep the true link to the past alive. Our secular society is often at odds with the value systems that brought about these religious festivals and yet it seems that the younger generations still enjoy participating. The older generations often lament the loss of faith in the young people and wonder how religious festivals can survive without losing their soul. However, the fact is nothing in human culture is static and every generation celebrates in their own way, often against the wishes of the elders. Times have changed but the Italian American spirit remains strong and with the help of corporate and community sponsorship, some of these traditional festivals are actually expanding. Some of the larger festivals have become annual tourist attractions, bringing in needed revenue to the old Italian American communities that hold the events and often benefiting the city as a whole. The New Italian Festivals in the US

Within the last twenty years, many Italian American communities nationwide have started to either rekindle old traditions or start new ones. These new festivals are often inspired by ethnic pride rather than religion, but they still bring out the same spirit and of course, a lot of fun. The old Heart of Italy neighborhood of Chicago is now home to an annual food and wine festival in honor of the Northern Italian roots of the first immigrants. Seattle may not seem like an "Italian" city, but the first Italian immigrants arrived over one hundred years ago. Today Festa Seattle is a large event held in the heart of the city and includes everything from food and wine (including a grape stomp), music, sports, film festivals and even an Italian auto show. One of the newest Italian American festivals is the six year old San Gennaro festival held in Los Angeles in honor of both the Neapolitan saint and the older festival held in New York. The feast and its non-profit foundation (to benefit the city’s underprivileged children) was organized and supported by prominent LA residents of Italian heritage such as comedian Jimmy Kimmel, producer Doug DeLuca and honorary members such as Tony Danza and Joe Mantegna

Whether a traditional feast or one of the newer events, Italian American festivals are a great time for everyone and are worth seeking out. Best of all is that most festivals take place in the summer or early fall so can be included into a vacation. Make sure to contact local chambers of commerce to find out about even more Italian American festivals. There are hundreds out there but most do not have their own web sites.

Scotch Plains-Fanwood – St. Bartholomew the Apostle Church and Academy and the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Chapter of UNICO present their Italian Feast. This is feast an annual tradition in honor of San Nicola di Bari. There are rides, great food, music and games for all ages. Nightly 50/50drawings and a Super 50/50 on Sunday. The 2009 feast will be celebrated Labor Day Weekend – Friday September 4th through Monday, September 7th. The hours are 4:30pm to 10:30pm daily. Come join the festivities! 2032 Westfield Avenue, Scotch Plains, NJ

International Food Court, Zeppoles, Pastries, Rides, Las Vegas Games of Chance including Black Jack, Vendors, Musical Entertainment (each evening), Fireworks (Sat) and Community Appreciation Day (Sunday 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM ~ FREE ADMISSION plus ½ PRICE PASTA).