BROOKLYN – It was a big job, but they were proud to do it. For many, it was almost like lifting the weight of the pandemic. The feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel returned to Brooklyn on Sunday, as did the crowds.
“Today is a particularly poignant celebration of the holiday as we weren’t able to celebrate it in full last year during the pandemic, so it’s just wonderful. The joy is just thick, ”said James Massa, Auxiliary Bishop of Brooklyn.
The celebration dates back to 1903, when the Williamsburg neighborhood was home to mostly Italian-Americans. As at the time, a mass was celebrated in the church, followed by the lifting of the Giglio. The 80-foot-tall statue, which weighs four tons and takes 100 men to carry, is an important symbol of faith and over a century of tradition – one that brings back even those who have left the neighborhood every year.
The celebration dates back to 1903, when the Williamsburg neighborhood was home to mostly Italian-Americans. As at the time, a mass is celebrated in the church, followed by the lifting of the Giglio. The nearly 80-foot-tall statue is an important symbol of faith and over a century of tradition, which even brings back those who have left the neighborhood every year.
Gena Gardini is one of them.
“Incredibly special and everyone missed it last year, so this is how we grew up, how my parents grew up and their parents grew up. Brooklyn is family, get together, see our friends, people we only see once or twice a year, now that we’re married and getting older, with kids, ”Gardini said.
“We’ve been coming here since we were kids. I’ve been coming here since before I could come myself,” said Joe Cervo.
And if there’s one thing you’ll find at this feast, it’s tons of mouthwatering food.
“It’s amazing, the people, the interaction, the positivity here is great. The food is great,” said Jasmine Quinones.
Some say that while the pandemic may have canceled the celebration last year, it means a lot more.
“Because everyone is alive. It’s just great, ”said Maria Guaranaccia.