VIDEO: Italian-American St. Joseph Day Altars

The Sicilian immigrants brought the St. Joseph Day Altar with them as they moved into Louisiana. A yearly celebration in March, the Altar is planned months in advance. Bread in a number of shapes are offered as petitions for a loved one to heal, perhaps needed at the present time or in anticipation of future needs. The clip shows a beautifully constructed altar, interviews several people about the St. Joseph Day Altar tradition, and also illustrates how the ritual is embraced by the community. For more information on Sicilian traditions read Customs, Traditions, and Folklore of a Rural, Southern Italian-American Community by Harry P. Becnel,Jr.

Taken from Island of Saints and Souls
Produced and Directed by Neil Alexander
Time: 2:14
Filmed 1991


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