Contact Information

Humanities Division
1000 Hempstead Avenue
Rockville Centre, New York 11571-5002 516.323.3179

Sample Paragraph

One of the most frequently worshiped gods of Long Island is Lirr, the single-minded god of travel.  Lirr (whose name is often followed by the trilled chant "elelelayayayarrarrarr") appears as a stern, silver haired, one-eyed giant holding a lantern and a briefcase; he is simultaneously a revered and feared deity.  Most stories of Lirr portray him as an unyielding, straightforward deity-once he makes up his mind to do something, there is no stopping him; however, he is often slow to begin any course of action, much to the frustration of those depending upon him.  Because so many Islanders rely on his good graces to survive, it is not uncommon for worshipers to visit his mobile temples twice a day!  There, worshipers sit in cramped, uncomfortable pews, while Lirr's roving priests conduct services that include the repetitive chanting of names, the collecting of patron donations, and "getting punched," a symbolic gesture wherein each patron receives a uniquely shaped bruise upon their forehead from a priest's holy ring (the most wealthy of Lirr's patrons can avoid this ritualistic beating by donating a monthly tithe, or "pass").  After services are concluded, worshipers file out quickly, lest Lirr's wrath fall upon them and they become trapped by the temple doors or tumble into "the gap of despair."  Still, despite the sometimes fickle nature of this monoptic god, many Long Islanders choose to worship Lirr rather than his evil twin sister, the trickster El'ayee.