Celebrating the Uganda Martyrs’ Day in Uganda

Uganda martyrs day is celebrated every 3rd June of every day and many people flock to the Uganda Martyrs’ Basilica Namugongo to remember these great people who died for religion over 100 years ago. In Uganda, this day is a public holiday and within the Roman Catholic Church, the 3rd journey is reserved for charles Lwanga and his companions who were burnt alive in this historical site. Travelers from all over the world, within Uganda and the far places flock to this sacred place to make their pilgrimage to this holy land. This is one of the biggest events in Africa attracting millions of people.

This year, a Uganda Martyrs’ Trail has been developed by tour operators and tourism organizations involving a walk from Munyonyo, one of the other places where the martyrs were killed. For those who come for safaris to Uganda, including a visit to the Namugongo Shrines is possible and in many tour itineraries involving a Kampala city tour, this sacred place is often included with an excursion to the site.

The 3rd June celebrations begin with a Novena in many parts of the country especially in places where the martyrs were either born or killed. The Novena begins in May to June when the celebrations are carried out. This novena at Namugongo is also attended by the pilgrims from the neighboring countries LIKE Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi Nigeria, Congo and also from other countries. This has helped in increasing the number of people who travel to Uganda in order to enjoy the safari tour to Namugongo. Many of the pilgrims , young and old , walk miles from their home areas yup to Namugongo as a sign of honor to the martyrs who shed their blood for the sake of our lord Jesus Christ,

Pilgrims also spend weeks on this long journey trying to invoke the Uganda Martyrs to intercede for them in overcoming their problems. These, indeed have often testified Martyrs’ positive reaction to their prayers as they get salvaged from their bonds. The preparation of Uganda Martyrs day not only encourage the faithful hearts to this place but also business people as well as come to the place , these include; those who sell food stuffs and other merchandise to Fellow business people and to the pilgrims. This however makes the number shoot high not only at Namugongo but even in the neighboring trading centers.

At the end of it all, the celebration of the high mass on 3rd June, the liturgy celebrations are organized by various dioceses, this is done year after year. Mass usually begins at 10 which is east African time. This is accompanied by the liturgical dances organized by the leading diocese. Many important persons from Uganda Government, embassies and many other countries have always attended the celebrations. The security of the place is always tight in order to keep law and order and also this makes the celebrations more peaceful despite the big numbers of people. The same people who come for the celebrations can also be attracted by many other attractions which are found in Uganda and these include; the mountain gorillas, mountain climbing, chimpanzee trekking, culture, city tours, and many more.

What do you think?

Written by Mike Bisho

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