ECONOMYNEXT – Indian pilgrims have attended the 2022 Saint Athony’s Festival held at the Katchcateevu island in Northern Sri Lanka resuming a traditional ritual which had been broken during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Close to 100 pilgrims made up of fishermen and priest had attended the annual festival at St. Anthony’s Shrine on March 11-12, joined by a similar number of Sri Lankans.
Under covid health regulations the numbers this year were limited.
“The annual Festival witnesses enthusiastic participation of Indian pilgrims every year,” India’s High Commission said.
“More than 3000 pilgrims from India participated in 2020. These Indian pilgrims are extended consular and other forms of assistance by Consulate General of India, Jaffna
A special Mass dedicated to St. Anthony of Padua, considered the patron Saint of Fishermen was conducted by priests from India and Sri Lanka on March 12.
“This was followed by the traditional feast. The Church flag was also hoisted as a part of the festivities.”
“The Festival underlines the deep people to people linkages between India and Sri Lanka as well as enduring cultural ties,” India’s High Commission said.
“Participation of fishermen from the two countries paves way for close interaction between them and provides an opportunity to know each other and their problems better.
“The mainstay of the centuries-old connect has been such interactions and close bonds between the peoples of the two close maritime neighbours.” (Colombo/Mar13/2022)