The 88th Feast of San Gennaro began on Thursday in Little Italy along Mulberry Street.
The feast is scheduled to run until the Sept. 22 and expects to have an attendance of almost one million New Yorkers and tourists.
The festival was packed with people on Friday evening to experience the different tastes and sounds of Little Italy. Among these visitors were MC students who came as a part of the “Saturday in the City” trip held on the third day of the festival.
Many students from outside the five boroughs had never been to the festival. “I thought it was a culturally diverse experience that happened to include really good food,” sophomore Caitlin Sullivan said.
The feast, known for lining the streets of Chinatown and Little Italy with food stands, features a wide array of food from classic Italian sausage to Colombian arepas. “I was instantly hungry when I smelled all of the food stands,” senior Vince Buccigrossi said.
The Feast of San Gennaro is named after St. Januarius, the Bishop of Naples in the late 3rd Century C.E. His feast day celebrates his martyrdom while protecting Christians from persecution at the hands of the Roman Emperor Diocletian.
The feast has long been an exciting event for Manhattan College students, which has a large Italian population.
“This place reeks of cigars and Italian food, I have never felt more at home,” said Buccigrossi when asked about how it feels to be an Italian American at the feast.
For many Italian Jaspers, attending the Feast of San Gennaro is an annual tradition that they have rarely missed. For other students, it is a new and exciting experience of both Italian and New York culture.
The festival will end on Sept. 22 when the image of St. Januarius will be paraded along Mulberry Street for all to see.