The August 15 Feast of Assumption, celebrated every year in Seychelles, as long as time can tell, on La Digue Island, has successfully come and gone after six days packed with activities.
The activities, which started on August 13 with sports activities and entertainment that culminated to the big day – August 15, had La Digue island abuzz with locals and visitors alike participating in the various activities and enjoying the food and goods available on sale by vendors.
The peak of the celebration was the last two days, Tuesday, August 14, that ended with a musical show by the seaside, with performances by prominent local artists, and the grand day, August 15, which is the actual day of the religious feast. As commonly expected, La Digue saw the largest crowd of participants that day, as the faithful gathered on the island for the Feast of Assumption ceremony.
As tradition goes, the religious celebration started with an open air mass at La Grotto, followed by the solemn procession with the statue of the Virgin Mary being led through the streets of La Digue, to the church where the remainder of the ceremony took place.
After honoring the Virgin Mary’s reunion with her son Jesus in heaven, La Digue proceeded with the main activities that had been organized for that day, with some of them, such as the duck race, dehusking of the coconut competition, and the famous “Poto Lagres” (whereby the brave and strong is challenged to climb a tall, greasy pole where a reward awaits the victor), stimulated much excitement and anticipation.
A live broadcast by the Seychelles Broadcasting Cooperation kept the usual tranquil La Digue on a much vibrant note all day long, throughout the weekend, and until the closing day, August 15.
La Digue also saw the Mauritian Minister for Arts and Culture, Mookhesswur Choonee, who was accompanied by the Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture, Alain St.Ange, experience firsthand the Feast of the Assumption, whereby not only did he attend the various activities but also the mass.
“La Digue is blessed with a diversity and density, giving it the specificity of a truly special island,” said Minister Choonee of Mauritius.
His counterpart, the Seychelles Minister St.Ange, on the other hand, said that the Seychelles Tourism Board, in partnership with the La Digue committee, will work to bring the Feast of the Assumption to new heights.
“The Feast of the Assumption is the ideal platform to bring visitors and Seychellois together to enjoy the culture and friendly atmosphere of La Digue,” said Minister St.Ange, adding, “Tourism cannot exist if there is no culture as the base of it, and the culture itself is non-existent if you don’t have people.”