ANNUAL ITALIAN CHRISTMAS MARKET at the American Italian Heritage Museum Albany, NY

ANNUAL ITALIAN CHRISTMAS MARKET
at the American Italian Heritage Museum
Albany, NY
FRI., NOV. 30th & SAT., DEC. 1 st : 10 am to 5 pm // SUN., DEC. 2 nd: 11am to 3 pm

Share this festive Italian Tradition with us in our American Italian Heritage Museum building, 1227 Central Avenue in Albany, NY. Our exhibit rooms will be transformed into market places filled with so much for you to enjoy, each one having something for almost everyone on your Christmas shopping list ~ including yourself! Be sure to look for unique Italian merchandise that will be available for purchase featuring things that are hard to find: Italian language greeting cards, Made-in-Italy items, hand-made wood Ceppo, Befana figures, themed ornaments, plaques, novelties, jewelry, delicious homemade Italian baked goods & much more along with our talented vendors upstairs, including Nini’s Sicilian Salsa. Come, see the always beautiful room-sized Italian Nativity Special Exhibit and celebrate our culture at this most beautiful time of year. **Sit down in our Market Café & enjoy food, beverages & fellowship. Buon Natale!**

 


Festa del Grano in Molise

These flowers, handmade from wheat, are just one facet of the elaborate tradition in Jelsi, Molise, where an annual Festa del Grano is held in honor of Saint Anna. Search for more live video and archives of this enduring tradition.

  

For more, visit this English language site with several videos detailing the event:
http://annoeuropeo2018.beniculturali.it/…/festa-del-grano-…/

Our thanks to Janine Giarrusso, an IFAFA member from Pittsburgh, PA, for this interesting post! This festival takes place today (26 JULY 2018) in Molise!


Youth Gathering: Celebrating Your Italian Heritage

If you are anywhere near Albany, NY, please help us to get the word out about this wonderful event. The purpose of the event to help our young people to know and appreciate their Italian heritage and culture. Free and open to the public.
 
–Prof./Cav. Philip J. DiNovo, President, American Italian Heritage Association <info+americanitalianmuseum.org@mnb.email>

Book: Global Tarantella

Global Tarantella: Reinventing Southern Italian Folk Music and Dances
Incoronata Inserra, Virginia Commonwealth University

Book: Global Tarantella

In Global Tarantella (University of Illinois Press, 2017) Incoronata Inserra ventures into the history, global circulation, and recontextualization of tarantella, a genre of Southern Italian folk music and dance. Examining tarantella’s changing image and role among Italians and Italian Americans, Inserra illuminates how factors like tourism, translation, and world music venues have shifted the ethics of place embedded in the tarantella cultural tradition. Once rooted in a world of rural Catholicism, tarantella now thrives in urban, secular, migrant, and ethnic settings. Inserra reveals how the genre’s changing dynamics contribute to reimagining Southern Italian identity and shows how its global growth promotes a reassessment of gender relations in the Italian South, helping create space for Italian and Italian American women to reclaim gendered aspects of the genre.

Calandra Italian American Institute
For more information, contact the Calandra Italian American Institute at:

St. Joseph Altar Celebration in Des Moines, IA

— Patricia Civitate, Italian-American Cultural Center of Iowa and Director of Il Trattenimento Italiano Folk Dance Troupe

This year marked the 21st anniversary of the St. Joseph Altar Celebration sponsored by the Italian-American Cultural Center of Iowa. This event was successful because of the many hours that numerous volunteers spent making sure that this would be a truly traditional and spiritual undertaking. Sincere thanks to all those who made it happen.

Central St. Joseph Altar

Kathy Foggia and Mary Romanelli began early in February setting up the hall with the backdrop curtains and the three-tiered steps that formed the altar. They covered the steps with linens, attached the table skirts, and then proceeded to add the decorative breads, altar identification cards, and other symbols of faith. John Heldreth and Joseph Boehm donated additional fruits and vegetables and completed the decoration of the altars. Continue reading “St. Joseph Altar Celebration in Des Moines, IA”


From Leslie Gigliotti in New Orleans

IFAFA President Leslie Gigliotti returned home from New Orleans today, but she shared these pictures from an altar that she viewed over the weekend. From Leslie:

Local St Joseph’s Day altar in New Orleans

Saint Joseph’s day isn’t until Monday, but a hotel here put their altar up earlier this week. Churches, supermarkets, parochial schools, private homes all have viewings. The paper here puts out a listing.

Alligator made of bread and a crayfish too! And traditional wheat design that they showed us in our vestedde class that some of you may have made in the workshop at last fall’s IFAFA Conference in Rockford, IL. Continue reading “From Leslie Gigliotti in New Orleans”


St. Joseph’s Feast Day in New Orleans

(originally published by Nicole Jankowsky in “The Salt” from NPR <https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2017/03/18/519987433/move-over-st-patrick-st-josephs-feast-is-when-italians-parade>)

[Photo courtesy of The Italian American St. Joseph Society]
The St. Patrick’s parade is over and the Irish (and honorary Irish) have gone home to sleep off their annual bout of intemperance, but the multi-generational marchers of the Italian-American St. Joseph Society in New Orleans are only just dusting off their tuxedos and straightening their bow ties. Once the shamrocks and shenanigans have vanished from the narrow streets of the French Quarter, and the keg of green beer is empty, another parade — in honor of an entirely different saint — is beginning to gear up. Continue reading “St. Joseph’s Feast Day in New Orleans”


The Tradition of St. Joseph’s Table

March 19th is the Feast Day of St. Joseph, one of the most beloved saints in the Catholic tradition, regarded as the protector of the family. His feast day is celebrated in many ways throughout Italy, but it has a special significance to Sicilians and Sicilian-Americans.

The Holy Family

The origin of the celebration dates back to a severe drought which took place in Sicily during the Middle Ages. Crops failed, farm animals died, and famine spread across the island. The Sicilian people turned their prayers to St. Joseph, asking him to intercede on their behalf for relief from the devastating famine, and they promised that, in return, they and their descendants would honor St. Joseph each year on his feast day. Rain came and returned life to the dried land. The disaster was averted, and the Sicilian people gave thanks to St. Joseph with a celebration. The villagers gathered food and placed it on the Continue reading “The Tradition of St. Joseph’s Table”


Bring in the New Year with Lentil Soup

Zuppa di Lenticchie
Italian Lentil Soup
(as demonstrated and served at the 2017 IFAFA Conference in Rockford, IL)

Lentils are traditionally served at many New Year’s dinners throughout Italy. With their coin-like shape, they are believed to represent good fortune and money in the coming year. They are commonly served with either cotechino or zampone.

Jody Perrecone and Mary Ann Ferruggia demonstrate how to make Italian Lentil Soup to participants at the 2017 IFAFA Conference in Rockford, IL.

1 lb green lentils, rinsed and sorted
3 large yellow onions, chopped
2 leeks, white part only, chopped
1 T minced garlic (3 cloves)
3 T olive oil
salt and black pepper
1 t ground cumin (optional)
8 celery sticks, chopped
4-6 carrots, chopped
3 quarts vegetable or chicken stock
4 T tomato paste
2 T red wine or red wine vinegar (optional)
½ box ditalini (little thimbles) or other small pasta
freshly grated Parmesan cheese (to serve)

In a large stockpot over medium heat, sauté the onions, leeks, and garlic with the olive oil, salt, pepper, and cumin for 20 minutes, until the vegetables are Continue reading “Bring in the New Year with Lentil Soup”


Christmas: The Legend of Panettone

[The Italian version – Natale: la leggenda del panettone – appears at the end of this reading.]

Our beloved panettone, sweet symbol of the Christmas season, has a rather amusing origin. Panettone, as it is understood today, is a recent gastronomical specialty in the history of Italian sweets. In fact, it is said to have been invented only at the end of the 19th century in Milan according to a truly legendary episode.

As a greeting for a Merry Christmas or Happy New Year, here is the delightful story of the famous panettone. Once upon a time there was a bread-maker named Toni. One fine day, Toni fell madly in love with a certain peasant girl named Lucia. Lucia went to town every morning to sell eggs. Toni, every morning, awaited Lucia’s arrival with longing and enthusiasm, and then, when he saw her, so strong were the feelings that he felt for this young country girl that he never knew what to say and he remained dumbstruck. So many loving glances exchanged, so many sighs, and so many broken eggs, just because this poor devil was unable to express his love. Finally, Toni had a brilliant idea: he decided to prepare a dessert for his adored Lucia, not just any dessert, but a special dessert never made before!

So, Toni prepared a dessert made with eggs, butter, and candied fruit in a Continue reading “Christmas: The Legend of Panettone”