Manchester's Madonna del Rosario Catholic procession

Welcoming its first procession (aka the Italian Whit Walk) in 1890, Ancoats' 'Little Italy' and its Manchester Italian Association (which went through various incarnations after its original 'Manchester Italian Catholic Society' formed in 1888, before the permanent switch to MIA, in aid of appealing to a broader community, in 1997) celebrated on 2nd July 2017, waving in crowds to the neighbourhood (including a bagpipes-playing band o'men who set up practicing-shop next to my building!) on a sunny Mancunian Sunday!

Known in the early days as the ‘Festa of the Madonna of Mount Carmel’, the procession - which then followed the men of the community walking through the streets carrying the statue of The Madonna - traditionally started from St Vincent's Convent (whose sisters offered support to the community until the convent's closing in the '60s) before they transitioned to doing so from St Michael's Roman Catholic Church.

Accompanied by the Lord Mayor of Manchester, Councillors, members of the Italian community (including ladies wearing traditional garb), and children in First Communion dress, the procession launched from St. Michael's Church and made way out across the city (via Great Ancoats Street) to its 'pausing place' in St Peter's Square, before looping on back.

Joining crowds of people in their Sunday best, Jenna and I rooted spot outside the Daily Echo building, stretching arms above heads to hold cameras aloft, allowing lens to catch glimpse of the procession's religious emblems - The Calvary, St.Anthony and The Madonna, alongside banners including one emblazoned with 'Save St Michael's' - before snaking way across the road (through a between-groups gap) to stand behind a car and witness the end of the Ancoats-portion of the route, tagging along before splitting off and making our merry way to Festival Square!

For more about the Manchester Italian Association, head HERE

For more on the story about St Michael's, head HERE