The Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary on Seychelles’ La Digue Island will be a low-key affair this year with only the celebration of mass being held.

The Aug. 15 celebration typically includes a procession and mass as well as funfairs, music concerts and sporting events. But due to COVID-19, this year, all of these activities are cancelled and only mass will be celebrated.

“With the new normal, we have cancelled all mass gatherings to abide by the new regulations set by the Public Health Authority,” Barbara Barallon, district administrator, told SNA on Monday.

The church also confirmed that there will be no procession this year but instead only mass will be celebrated.

“We will be having three services on that day, one at 9 a.m., one at noon and another at 3 in the afternoon,” Marie Therese Payet from the St Marie parish explained.

According to Payet, the decision has been taken to ensure there is enough physical distancing; only 100 people will be allowed in the church at one go. These celebrations will be broadcast live on – SBC – the national radio and television.

Whilst emphasis of the feast is on the religious ceremonies, the Feast of the Assumption on La Digue is also one which provides the opportunity for family reunions.

People especially the Diguois now working or living on the other islands tend to go back home and spend time with their loved ones.

Barallon confirmed that this is being the case for the upcoming feast as most of the guest houses are booked and that “some of these bookings, were done long before COVID-19 and even now people have not cancelled, so this shows that they will still be coming to the island for the weekend.”

La Digue is the third-most populated island of the Seychelles – 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean. The event sees hundreds of people travel from the main islands of Mahe and Praslin to La Digue, to celebrate the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, the Patron Saint.

Roman Catholics from mainly Mahe make the one-and-a-half-hour trip by boat to celebrate the feast with their fellow islanders on La Digue.

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