During the annual festa in honor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in East Harlem, which still takes place every July 15 and 16, local women used to wear huge structures of tiered candles on their heads in the long procession around the neighborhood. This was a way of publicly expressing gratitude to the Madonna for favors she had done for them. At the end of the procession, the women would deposit the candles on the altar of the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on 115th Street.

Credit