Tag Archives: Italy

Valentine’s Day Attracts Lovers All Over the World


RVO Staff Writer

Valentine traditions wordly Heart-shaped boxes of creamy chocolates, bouquets of roses, and lovey-dovey cards are some of the ways lovers celebrate Valentine’s Day here in the U.S. And February 14th isn’t just a happy day for lovers. In a survey published last month by the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association, companies producing Valentine candy, cards, flowers and novelties are swooning like teenage sweethearts because Valentine’s Day generates more than $13 Billion in revenue.

That’s a whole lotta love!

 Okay, so we all know people in the U.S. throw down some serious dough on Valentine’s Day, but how do people in other countries celebrate? What are their customs, traditions?

Here’s a peek.


France and Eiffel tower and love It’s been said the first Valentine’s Day card originated in France in the 1400s when Charles, Duke of Orleans, sent love letters to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London.

Back in the day, the French followed the tradition “une loterie d’amour” (drawing for love) that matched lovers by the sound of their voice. Single men and women would enter houses facing each other and take turns calling out to one another until they were paired off. If the men didn’t like their match, they left the woman for another man to call. As part of the tradition, the women that didn’t get matched up, got together afterward for a big ceremonial bonfire where they tossed pictures and objects of the men who rejected them, and cursed their names. French officials banned the tradition when the women got too rowdy and out of control. Today, the French take their lovers out for some fine French cuisine and champagne, and it’s the most popular day for men to get down on that bended knee and propose.

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The Art of Justice: Howard Pyle’s Legacy Prevails at the Brennan Court House

by Sally Deering

howard-pyle-artistHoward Pyle, the “Father of American Illustration,” was also famous for painting historic murals like “The Landing at Carteret” which hangs in the Essex County Court House in Newark and other works collected by the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, the Delaware Art Museum and the Brandywine River Museum. But you don’t have to hop a plane to Frisco or a train to Delaware to see Pyle’s paintings up close. Four murals depicting the history of Hudson County hang in the beautifully restored, Beaux Arts landmark Justice William J. Brennan Court House in Jersey City, where people from all walks of life can view Pyle’s majestic and historic paintings.   Continue reading The Art of Justice: Howard Pyle’s Legacy Prevails at the Brennan Court House

40 Years Later -Mario Puzo’s Godfather is Still Popular- Do You Know Why?

175px-godfather-novel-cover1The reasons for its enduring popularity aren’t easy to pin down. Of course, Francis Ford Coppola’s masterpieces, “The Godfather” and “The Godfather, Part II,” brought a swarm of new readers, but the book had already sold millions of copies before the first film was ­released in 1972.

Source: Allen Barra WSJ

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La Festa Italiana – The Tradition Lives On at Holy Rosary Church in Downtown Jersey City


Tradition…a concept that is certainly not unique to the Italian and Italian American culture, but which is almost universally mentioned when telling the story of those who are of Italian heritage.  Nevertheless, one is tempted to wonder if the paesani who immigrated to the United States from Morrone del Sannio, Campobasso (Region of Molise), Italy, in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, and who settled in the ethnic enclave that would become a vibrant “Little Italy” in downtown Jersey City, could have foreseen that their grandchildren and great grandchildren would, more than a century later, still be carrying on one of their grandest traditions.  Probably not!  Yet, that is exactly what is happening, as the third and fourth generation members of the Maria S.S. Dell’Assunta Society, founded by their Morronese ancestors in 1902, are now preparing for the 98th annual Feast of the Assumption, at Holy Rosary Church in historic downtown Jersey City. 

La Festa Italiana, which now encompasses the feast of St. Rocco, in addition to the Assumption feast of old, includes both elements of the traditional Italian feast, combining spirituality with the typical Italian street festival.  The religious celebration begins with a Novena in honor of Our Lady of the Assumption (Thursday, August 6th, to Friday, August 14th, at 7:00 p.m., with a candlelight procession through the streets of downtown Jersey City on la vigilia di festa August 14th) and culminates in the Assumption Feast Day Mass, to be celebrated by Most Rev. Thomas A. Donato, Aux. Bishop of Newark and Regional Bishop for Hudson County (11:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 15th), and the St. Rocco Feast Day Mass, to be celebrated by Most Rev. Dominic A. Marconi, Ret. Aux. Bishop of Newark (11:30 a.m. on Sunday, August 16th). 

The old-world style street festival will include deliziosi Italian food, full service bar, outdoor cafe, rides, games, and live entertainment.  A highlight for many is the wine and peaches stand, proudly called “A Taste of Campobasso”, which is still operated by the Society and staffed by the descendants of its original founders, including the popular “Wine Girls”, who will be happy to serve you some of the best wine and peaches around! 

YOU’RE INVITED TO JOIN US!  On August 15th at 9:00 p.m., in front of the Campobasso wine stand, a special “toast” will be offered to honor all feast workers and Society members (including the memory of those who are no longer with us) who have worked hard to preserve Italian culture and the beautiful traditions that our ancestors carried with them from the old country.  Don’t forget to wear your feast shirts, as we gather together for this unique display of unity, love, and respect!  The festival will take place on 6th Street, between Brunswick and Monmouth Streets, in the Downtown section of Jersey City, and will run from Wednesday, August 12th, through Sunday, August 16th, 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m..  For more details, call 201-795-0120 Ext. 103, or Carmine Colasurdo at 201-966-7745.  Buona Festa a Tutti