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Feast of San Gennaro, Hollywood

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San Gennaro (also known as Januarius -- yes, as in the month) was one of those fantastic early Christian martyrs who suffered incomprehensible tortures and survived inexplicable violence under equally fantastic Roman persecution. He was tossed into the flames but did not burn; the ever-resourceful Romans then tried to feed him to wild beasts, but (le sigh) the animals laid down at his feet instead of devouring him. Exhausted and frustrated, the Romans beheaded the guy, but those budget-minded Christian women saved the blood that ran down from his bereft spinal cord. Apparently there still exists a vial of this blood which miraculously reliquifies before an audience of rapt believers in Napoli.

Sadly, there was no such miracle at the Los Angeles Feast of San Gennaro, a newly annual event hosted and sponsored by those stalwarts of Italian Hollywood, Jimmy Kimmel and Adam Carolla. The Feast is sponsored by Precious Cheese (thus the possible misconception that this is a cheese festival rather than the traditional saint's day), and this year, the festival was tucked into an open lot sandwiched between Hollywood High School and the Hollywood & Highland shopping center.

However: glory be to the Italian people, there was a lot of great food.