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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Naples, Italy - A Place to Be

Naples, Italy is a place you should not miss, if you visit Italy. There are grand festivals that reflect the religious culture of Italy. People in Naples, being predominantly Catholic, are pious observers of Catholic festivals, rituals and practices. This explains the great number of religious festivals they celebrate all year round. Here are two big festivals celebrated annually by this picturesque Italian city.

Photo by: BellaBim

Festa di Piedigrotta

Celebrated on September 3 to 13, this is a festival held in honor of the Madonna or Virgin Mary in the Church of Piedigrotta. As years progressed, the festival slowly transformed from a purely religious celebration and pilgrimage into a huge party. People exhibit to the public their various inventions in art, music and cinema. A Neopolitan song-writing festival is simultaneously held, in which singers and composers present songs written using the Neopolitan language. This is one of the grandest and well-attended festivals in Naples.

San Gennaro Festival

This is the annual feast of San Gennaro, the patron saint of Naples. Every year, the throng of believers usually flocks to the altar of the Cathedral of Naples to witness a miracle. This miracle is the liquefaction of the ampoule of dried blood of the beheaded saint, centuries ago. The festival starts with a procession and a viewing of the miracle at the altar. The people then proceed outside where Italian food, dances, curio stalls, religious shops, wonderful musical treats are featured. This festival attracts numerous tourists, who are entertained by Italian music, dances and delicious, native dishes. The festivities usually last for a week, from September 16 to 26.