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The Indiana Daily Student

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Ugandans celebrate Martyrs’ Day with prayers, food and gambling

African holiday observes deaths

A boy sells posters with the faces of Ugandan Catholic bishops June 3.

KAMPALA, Uganda – Hundreds of thousands of Ugandans gathered in Namugongo, Kampala on Thursday in commemoration of Martyrs’ Day, a holiday that remembers the death of 26 Christians killed in 1886.

Pilgrims from across the country convened for Catholic and Protestant services, many of them walking from faraway towns in solidarity for the sufferings the martyrs endured.

The services featured choirs, dancing, prayers, serving of the Holy Eucharist and a speech by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.

Though the services were solemn, outside the security gates lay a festival for the senses, with miles of food vendors, entertainers, boys selling Martyrs’ Day paraphernalia and groups gathered to gamble.

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