Our Lady of the Assumption:
Thursday 15 August, 2013
known as the Feast of the Assumption it is a recognised
public holiday in Gambia and is also known as Saint Mary (pronounced
locally as Sang Marie).
This is a time when all Christian denominations come out in force to
pay homage to Mary, mother of Jesus. It is from this feast that the
Kombo St. Mary Division K.S.M.D. got its name from and the capital
of Banjul is on St. Mary's Island.
Sang Marie became a public holiday in 1958. In 1976 Sang Marie
was removed from the schedule of public holidays but was re-instated
on the 8th August 2007 and has been celebrated ever since.
Church members are expected to attend mass. There is a
formal procession in the streets and a holy admiration of the Blessed
Sacrament. Then follows celebrations, street parades, masquerades,
drumming with food shared locally for all and sundry.
Muslims happily participate in this
part of the celebrations and
Christian with Muslim friend often will
ask them over for a meal or send some special foods over to their
house. This day is particularly prevalent in the capital Banjul as
there are a large concentration of Churches, nunneries and holy
There is indeed a superstition or rather strong belief
that it always rains in the week running up to the holy day as well as
on the day itself and it is seen as a sign from Mary of her