The origins of the Giglio Society of East Harlem trace their heritage back to the town of Brusciano, Italy approximately 20 miles outside of Naples.
Here an Annual Feast called the Dance of the Giglio takes place yearly in honor of Sant’ Antonio. The Feast originally began back in the 1880′s when Zi Cecca DeFalco prayed to Sant’ Antonio to help cure his deathly ill child.
In exchange for this cure, Zi Cecca vowed to honor Sant’ Antonio in the same manner the town’s people of Nola Italy, a nearby town honor San Paolino di Nola, by constructing Gigli in honor of Sant’ Antonio and dancing them in the streets of Brusciano.
Zi Cecca’s prayers were answered and the dancing of the Giglio in Brusciano was born.
It continues today where 6 Gigli are built and danced on the shoulders of hundreds of men yearly during the month of August. http://www.eastharlemgiglio.com/