Marian Days brings an opportunity to share culture, faith and prosperity with thousands who pilgrimage to Carthage. Each year the community expands from a population of 14,500 to an estimated crowd of 60-80,000 new residents in the first weeks of August. Hotels become hubs of activity, neighboring lawns fill with campers and residents enjoy the sights and sounds of the festival atmosphere. Join us for the 40th annual Marian Days on August 3-6, 2017!
About Marian Days
Estimated to be the largest North American religious pilgrimage, Marian Days brings thousands of Vietnamese Catholic families to Carthage, Missouri each August to celebrate faith and fellowship in honor of the Immaculate Heart of the Virgin Mary, as well as in memory of their homeland across the Pacific. The festival is highlighted with a variety of mass ceremonies, teen & youth seminars, live entertainment, solemn procession, and opportunities for confession.
A Unique American Pilgrimage
Attendees are mostly drawn from the Vietnamese emigre community in the United States but also include many others from Canada, Vietnam, and other nations all around the world. All gather in Carthage to transform the small town rural community into a booming Vietnamese metropolis complete with authentic music, activities, and official announcements delivered in native tongue. The celebration itself is like an extended summer picnic or camp out, and offers an extensive variety of food kiosks, farmer’s market, and many vendors of devotional and cultural items.
Come On Down
This family-friendly event has welcomed visitors to the Carthage area since 1978. Those interested in camping out on the grounds of the Congregation of the Mother Co-Redemptrix or any of the surrounding private landowners who welcome these annual visitors are assured of a full slate of sanitary and medical facilities. It is also possible to enjoy Marian Days while staying at any of the area’s motels and nearby RV parks.
Marian Days is a very unique and fun experience where the West of the Mediterranean world meets the Far East in the form of the Vietnamese immigrant community right in the center of the United States. With every year’s event just a little bit bigger than the one before, Carthage is pleased to host this unique slice of Americana and hopes that you will stop on by if you are in the area.
Marian Days Frequently Asked Questions
When is Marian Days? Typically, the event begins the first Thursday in August and runs throughout the weekend. However, the dates are changed from year to year on occasion to accommodate calendars of traveling guests. Marian Days 2017 will be held August 3-6, 2017 at the Congregation of the Mother Co-Redemptrix in Carthage, Missouri. Dates for Marian Days 2018 will be announced at closing mass at 7:00 a.m. on Sunday, August 6, 2017.
Where do I stay while in Carthage? A: The majority of Marian Days attendees choose to camp. There are a wide variety of sites available on the lawn at the CMC as well as area neighbors who are very hospitable and share their lawns and utilities. Arrangements are made with property owners by reservation (some families camp with the same Carthaginians year after year) or a first come first served basis. City of Carthage ordinances prevent property owners for charging for space, but a donation is customary and at the discretion of the visitor.
How do I become a vendor at Marian Days? When / Where do I set up my booth at Marian Days? A: The vendors at Marian Days exclusively honor the Vietnamese and Catholic cultures. The CVB has no access to booth or vending information. Our best advice is to find the information on the official website for Marian Days, www.dongcong.net or if you have been granted booth and vending space, call your on-site contact.
I just want to try the food. Can my family visit Marian Days? YES – the food, the family, and culture are amazing. It is an event that can not be missed. We recommend the Port Author, Texas food tent for beginners. Upon arrival, stand near the door and a host will seat you. The menus are usually taped to the table for you to review, but feel free to ask your server questions like – what’s your most popular dish? what has beef, but isn’t too spicy? what is new this year? etc. A few foods we recommend: Pho (pronounced fa and it’s the soup pictured below), spring rolls, egg rolls, jackfruit, lychee and boba tea.
What is Boba? Here’s the wikepedia boba definition, but my take on Boba is – it’s a yummy smoothie. Boba or boba tea comes in a variety of flavors mixed in blenders on the spot. Strawberry, mango, cheesecake, mocha are some well known flavors; jackfruit, avocado, basil, sugar cane are a few eccentric flavors. When you order from the boba tent, you choose a base flavor for your smoothie and then a boba flavor. Boba choices include popping, regular, or no boba. As wikepedia explains, boba is a tapioca ball. It’s chewy and comes in a variety of jelly flavors. It has a gummy texture. In my opinion, the regular black boba balls have a licorice type taste and I’m not keen on the texture, but the popping boba is amazingly refreshing. Just as it sounds, the popping boba is a burst of flavor – “mango with strawberry popping” is my first order each season. In a brief survey media pros seem to like popping boba, but not regular boba. However, CFD and CPD seem to prefer the regular boba.
Where are all these people from? Vietnamese families come from all over the world. Marian Days is the largest religious pilgrimage in North America. Often, people book their tours with companies and whole church congregations travel together to camp onsite. When you arrive at Marian Days, you will notice the large striped open tents with cots. Those tents are reserved for churches that have made booked with the fathers. Congregations come by bus from Texas, California, Canada, and more. Each congregation brings a church flag and walks in the Solemn Procession on Saturday evening.
Can I bring my pet to Marian Days? A: Yes, but it should be on a leash and must be up to date on all it’s shots; basically, your pet must follow all the ordinances pertaining to pets under city code, chapter 4 exclusively covers animals. http://library.municode.com/index.aspx?clientId=11744