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March 19th: St Joseph's Day. Celebrated with a feast, when you visit a St. Joseph's table, you often receive gifts of fava beans and breads. Fava beans play an integral part of the celebration because this was the food that saved the Sicilians from starvation. The bean is said to bring good luck, and it is believed that if the St. Joseph's bread is kept in the home, the family will never starve.
St Joseph's Day Altar This celebration, on March 19, was held every year in my grandmother's home. Food was everywhere. One year we had over 900 people come to her home to eat. We cooked all year long. It was really something to see. Sorry these times are gone.
This photo depicts an altar decorated for St. Joseph's day. An Italian custom transplanted to New Orleans, women of the parish spend weeks preparing an array of special foods. People pay to come and eat the bounty, and the money is given to the poor. St. Joseph is the patron saint of Sicily.