The Marian Days Festival – Carthage, Missouri A 4 day celebration by Viet Nam Catholics now living in Missouri. This celebration has brought about 50,000 Vietnamese Catholics from around the world to this small Ozarks town. Marian Days begins on a Thursday and wraps up on Sunday.
Twenty-five years after the war ended, Vietnamese Catholics continue to thrive in this unlikely haven. Their seminary, the Congregation of the Mother Co-Redemptrix, has organized Marian Days since 1977.
At Marian Days, lively pop music blares from tents — most of the visitors will camp on the 30-acre seminary grounds. The adults share tea, visit and rejoice in the Lord while the kids are busy being kids, skateboarding, laughing and sharing experiences.
A choir’s songs echo on the main square. Several dozen priests hear confessions in a park dotted with trees. In the chapel, worshipers solemnly light candles to honor loved ones. The park hosts a statue of the Virgin errected by the members of the church.
For the most part the event has become part of the town’s heritage, like the Civil War battlefield nearby. Carthage has created a citywide holiday, Vietnamese Day, even though the number of Vietnamese residents still is
relatively small. Townspeople visit to sample the gantlet of food tents. Several neighbors even open their front yards for camping.
Vendors create small bazaars to sell CDs, religious icons and imported knicknacks. Churches sell sandwiches, entrees and pastries. Musicians play traditional and modern tunes.
Location: 1900 South Grand, Carthage MO