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!
A Fly on our (Chicken Coop) Wall, Amycake and the Dude, Considerings, Finding Ninee, Getting Literal, I Want Backsies, The Meaning of Me, Thankful Me, Uncharted, The Wakefield Doctrine