Sunday, July 11, 2010

Giglio Today: 130 Men to Carry 80-Foot Tall, 3 Ton 'Giglio' in Brooklyn

There will be celebration and spectacle on the streets of Williamsburg this Sunday as 130 men carry the 80-foot tall, 3 ton ‘Giglio’ (Italian for lilies) in the 123rd Annual Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Saint Paulinus of Nola. While the street festivals and celebrations take place all week, the giglio lift takes place on Sunday, July 11th at 1 p.m. at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church (275 North 8th Street at Havemeyer, Brooklyn).

To accompany the Giglio, an additional 120 men will carry the life size boat of St. Paulinus (la barca) through the streets as well. The high point of the day occurs at the cross streets of Havemeyer and North 8th. At this juncture, the giglio and la barca meet; the front ranks of each structure clasp hands in the symbolic re-enactment of the historic return of San Paolino to Nola.

On Giglio Sunday, an 11 a.m. Mass will start the day’s activities followed by the traditional dancing of the Giglio at 1pm. The Feast (40 years older and second in size to San Gennaro) will have live entertainment nightly, vendors selling Italian specialties and international delicacies, parades, a bazaar with games, children’s rides and amusements.

See last year's Giglio feast here.

Background: Upon his return from captivity, St. Paulinus, the Bishop of Nola, Italy, was met by joyous townspeople who held lilies as a sign of homage and welcome. The boat commemorates his passage home. This was cause for a great festival which became famous throughout Italy and was brought to Brooklyn by Italian immigrants 119 years ago.

Photo by Adam Lerner, Creative Commons license

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