CARTHAGE, Mo. – People are preparing to take to the streets as one of the biggest traditions in the region, Maria’s Days, comes to an end.
The celebration was brought back after a two-year hiatus caused by the pandemic.
Marian Days have been an ongoing tradition for the Congregation of Mother of the Redeemer for the past 43 years.
While it’s mainly focused on worship, provincial minister Father John Paul Tran says it also helps highlight Vietnamese culture and connections.
“We were very scared from Sunday to Thursday because there were only a few people walking around, but on Thursday when we did the opening ceremony, we were surprised that there were more than we expected. Not like other years, but 70 to 80 percent present,” says Tran.
According to him, Marian Days usually brings approximately 50 to 60 thousand people to Cartagena.
Not just from the Quad States, but from all over America.
“It’s nice to communicate with other people around the world because you’ll never see them again, so you can talk to them and say hello,” said Thien An Nguyen, who traveled from Texas.
“It’s a special day for all of us,” says Hung Nguyen, who traveled from Alabama, “We get together here, I have so many friends, we haven’t been in touch for years, and we just bump into each other about it .event and it’s just an amazing miracle.”
According to officials, the largest attendance in the history of the Marian Days was between 80 and 90 thousand people.