CARTHAGE, Mo. – Marian Days is a festival and pilgrimage for Vietnamese American Catholics celebrated since 1978 on a 28-acre campus of the Congregation of the Co-Redemptrix Mother in Carthage, Missouri. The event is organized by Vietnamese American Catholics. The event in Carthage runs until Sunday.
It’s open to the public. There is no charge to attend. Many locals visit the shops and restaurants during the week that are set up on the east side of campus. Traditional Vietnamese cuisine is served in five different restaurants. If you prefer more American food, the Carthage Knights of Columbus (group of Catholic men) set up a restaurant every year as a tradition and fundraiser.
Favorites that many enjoy are Boba Tea, aka Bubble Tea. Although it was created in the 1980s, it has become a tradition. It has balls or “bubbles” of chewy or soft tapioca pudding. The varieties are too numerous to list here. Easy to order and one of the many stalls as you walk through the food/vendor area.
Also Pho is a traditional Vietnamese dish served in restaurants. It is considered the national dish.
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“Phở or pho is a Vietnamese soup dish consisting of broth, rice noodles, herbs and meat. Pho is a popular food in Vietnam where it is served in households, street stalls and restaurants across the country. The Nam Định were the first to create the traditional Vietnamese Pho. Pho is considered the national dish of Vietnam.” — Party magazine
HISTORY OF MARIAN DAYS AND CRM
“On April 30, 1975, 185 clergy – about half of the Congregation – left Vietnam as boat people just before the fall of Saigon. They arrived in the United States and were placed in refugee camps.
They came to Carthage because of Cardinal Bernard Law, who is most remembered today for covering up the sex abuse scandal in the Archdiocese of Boston. Prior to Boston, however, he was bishop of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau.
Cardinal Law invited them to rent a vacant seminary, Our Lady of the Ozarks College. Between June 30 and September 3, 1975, nine priests and 154 brothers arrived in Carthage.
Marian Days began in 1978 as a gathering or “family reunion” to keep Vietnamese Catholic traditions alive. Mass is shared in Vietnamese. The authorities expect 100,000 this year. The Saturday of the 4-day festival is traditionally the busiest day.
PARKING FOR MARIAN DAYS
If someone is registered for Marian Days, there are specific places they are asked to park. For the general public, you can park on the public road. Do not block driveways or you may be towed away.
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