The Feast of San Gennaro

Olivia Mistretta, Staff Writer

When people think of the month of September, they think summer is over and the leaves are turning; it’s time for pumpkin spice everything and going back to school. However, those things aren’t always on my mind when this month rolls around. Every year around this time, Little Italy, NYC is bustling with activity and preparing for the annual Feast of San Gennaro. This is an important day for many Italian-Americans as the reveling takes place on the feast day of Saint Januarius (September 19th), the patron saint of Naples. Many Italian-Americans have relatives from the city of Naples in particular; and the feast started when the first Italian immigrants to America wanted to continue their tradition.

Furthermore, the most important part of the feast for me is the food. Among the games and music, the smells of fresh cheese, grilling meat, and fried Italian donuts called zeppoles fill the air. The unmistakable colors of red, white, and green decorate the entirety of Mulberry Street and vendors call out to the crowd of hungry people in hopes of someone picking their stand to go to for food. The feast is everything Italian from pizza to ravioli, and it’s a great time for anyone who wants to get some authentic Italian food. As the feast is more of a regional thing for the tri-state area, it’s even more special because we live so close to it.

It’s been three years since I started going, and every year we come home with a bag of zeppoles and a few boxes of homemade ravioli. I take it as a time to enjoy some good food and get some fresh air after the first two weeks of school pass, along with the feverish excitement of the year starting. I highly recommend a visit next year if you’re into Italian food or culture – you won’t be disappointed.