Monday, July 19, 2010

The 135th Our Lady of Mount Carmel Festival

So, the little town from which I hail... Hammonton, NJ (also known as "The Blueberry Capital of the World") holds this yearly festival on the feast day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

While I don't know too much about the history... I do know that it started with a few farmers in 1875 and that I've been going since I was a child. You can get a more detailed, if not necessarily definitive, history of the Saint and feast (though not really Hammonton's version) here.

The feast is celebrated every July 16th with a procession of the saints. Some of you may or may not have seen something similar in a certain revered gangster movie sequel. In our little town, it is less about the intrigue and more about simple faith. You have money pinned onto the saints and in return you receive a scapular or prayer card.

It's quite a thing to see, though not as well attended these years as I remember (or, for that matter, as my mother remembers when it was an event in the 60s).

Here are some of my favorite moments and tidbits of the day:

If you are dying for some more Our Lady of Mount Carmel action... you can see more images here.

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