Gambians celebrate Sang Marie (St. Mary) Festival of Gratitude
Happy sang Marie is rarely heard anywhere else except in The Gambia and among Gambians in the diaspora as this feast is very unique to Gambia and to Gambian Christians mainly Catholics who celebrate the assumption of holy Mary, mother of Jesus Chris. As it is usual with Gambians, both wish each other very well and exchanges pleasantries and gifts of food among each other regardless of faith. The government gave Gambians a public holiday to celebrate this day.
Sang Marie was first celebrated as public holiday in the 1950s and later removed from the calendar of public holidays until 2007 when it was re-introduced as public holiday. It is believed that the year's blessings are measured by the presence of rain on this holy day and days leading up to it and as it rainly heavily in Banjul and the surrounding areas, days before this day and the day itself, it seems Gambians are bound for a great bountiful year ahead.
On this day, Gambian Christians, mainly Catholics, gather in the town of Kunkujang Mariama, a settlement named after the holy mother to celebrate the day in church and with food and dancing, grateful for another year and hopeful for the coming years.