Saturday, August 6, 2016

Oh, Marian Days, You Make Me So Thankful!

I'm back, in case anyone even noticed I'd been missing.  I took a few weeks off when my mom passed away (and if you haven't read my post from earlier this week where I talked about my mom, it would please me to no end if you would), but my mom loved reading my blog, so here I am. 

The past few years, my Ten Things of Thankful post for this first weekend in August has revolved around Marian Days, an annual gathering of Vietnamese Catholics in a neighboring town. Guess what? Same for this year. 

1. I ate a big ol' bowl of pho on Wednesday.

The broth is made from parts I don't want to know about.
End result is worth it.

I SUCK at using chopsticks.
It does not stop me from using them.

2. And Thursday.

3. And Friday.

4. And Saturday.

5. And maybe one or two (or three) boba smoothies.

Avocado boba smoothie. Not to be
confused with the nasty avocado chocolate smoothie I made during
the A to Z Challenge.

6. These Vietnamese Catholics converge upon the grounds of the headquarters of the Congregation of the Mother Co-Redemptrix for a four day pilgrimage honoring the Virgin Mary. Massive food tents are set up throughout the grounds, run by churches from all over the country. They all offer pretty much the same food, but we have our favorite and are always happy to get consistently delicious food each and every time.

Our favorite food vendor, from Port Arthur, Texas.

Fruit selections at a booth.

Those are jack fruit. They are bigger
than watermelon with a prickly rind
and a terrible odor.

Pork meatballs on the left. On the right,
a pork roll that can be purchased
 whole or by the slice....

A marketplace where trinkets, rosary beads,
fans, parasols, coolie hats, religious statues,
and more can be purchased. Most booths
are run by nuns from different Orders
as a fundraiser.

7. There is a mass held each evening, outdoors, with jumbotron screens all around. 70,000+ people attend (the town where it is held has a population of about 14,000), sitting in lawn chairs or perched on curbs or walls or just standing. It is a beautiful sight.

Some of the 70,000+ attendees at mass.

Those teeny figures on the stage are bishops
and not sure who else but they're important. 

At communion time, each priest (and there
were probably at least 50 that we could see)
was accompanied by a lay person holding an
umbrella with a lighted handle, sheltering
the priest and the host. 

8. It is the most peaceful, Godly event I have ever attended, yet, believe it or not, there were some protesters there. These extremist Christians (all two or three of them) had crudely made signs and stood on a (closed off) street on the fringes of the crowd during mass. No one paid much attention to them, as clearly they were complete idiots, but at least they kept their mouths shut and didn't disturb the service.

Two of the protesters, the man on the left in
the black t-shirt and the one on the right with,
well, the protest sign.

9. Don't let the outfits fool you. Nuns are a hoot.

"We are family. I've got all my sisters with me."

10. Only 51 more weeks until the next Marian Days festival!

What can you be thankful for this week? Write them down, link them up, you have until Sunday evening. Go!

Ten Things of Thankful

 Your hosts


  1. That looks awesome. We always celebrated Marion Days in Catholic School. I dont understand what the protesters were protesting. I read their signs and tshirts and just dont get it... Oh had fun! Again!

    1. I think they protest just because they can. A police officer I talked to said they go to all the little fairs around the area and protest. One of the signs said something about Jesus being against divorce and I realized they really were morons or truly had no understanding of the Catholic religion or they wouldn't have bothered.

  2. I would love Marian Days as well. Yum! If they offer jackfruit boba smoothies, I HIGHLY recommend you trying one. Jak and I have fresh jackfruit boba smoothies from a place here in MN, very good. I also hear jackfruit curry is also good.

    Glad you got your pho fix! These days sound almost roundtrip worthy!

    1. I think a road trip is in order for next year. And I'm not sure about that jackfruit. They STINK. And I've heard durian is wayyyyy worse.

    2. I have never smelled jackfruit but what I have tasted has been good. I have heard DURIAN IS AWFULLY SMELLY. I plan to stay away from that one!

  3. Looks like a wonderful event, glad you had fun!!

    1. So fun! It's so very different than anything we're used to around here in the middle of the country!

  4. The event looks tremendous. That crowd attending mass--wow.

    Hugs to you. I kept looking for you and thinking things must have progressed in this way for your mom. I know she was in sad shape there at the end, but it still hurts to lose your mom. Hugs, hugs, hugs.

    1. Well, May, next year you should come down for it. Lizzi is going to come!
      And thank you so much for your kind words. It does get easier, but it's never going to be easy.

  5. Heheheh I LOVE how much you love this festival, and I so hope I can attend with you next year! Not sure I'll be able to eat the Pho, but there's bound to be some vegetarian *something* right?

    1. I'm really hoping you'll be able to come next year. There are vegetarian offerings as well!

  6. Protesters. Ugh. There are always protesters outside of Temple Square every General Conference, too. Marian Days sound wonderful--and yummy, too!

    1. Isn't it ridiculous? Seriously, such a Godly event, and so peaceful! Ahh, the food!

  7. I love your pictorial Dyanne. What an amazing event. The energy in the atmosphere must be off the charts! This is the second year I threaten to try pho after reading your post about Marian Days :D
    Hey! What?! Party at your place next year?? Alright! :D