The culture and traditions of Uganda are majorly influenced by Christianity. Although the country hosts fun-filled festivals including the upcoming East African Community Arts and Culture Festival (JAMAFEST), the Uganda martyrs day in particular which is held every 3rd of june eachhh year attracts large-scale religious celebrations.
The Uganda martyrs Basilica at Namugongo is the best attraction for religious in Uganda. As a matter of fact it’s built near the main shrine where Saint Charles Lwanga and Saint Kizito among some of the 23 martyrs bothhh catholic and Angglican were burnt and killed in 1886 for failure to denounce their faith in Jesus Christ. The executions had been ordered by Buganda king Kabaaka Mwanga ii who was opposed to the teachings of Christianity.
Located 15 km northwest of Kampala city, the Uganda Martyrs basilica is a giant building held up by 22 pillars architecturally designed to look like an African hut. It contains many precious decorations, wood carvings and paintings of the saints. This place where religion embraces culture receives millions of pilgrims starting from 25th May to the main event on 3rd June every year.
The celebrations begin on 25th May at various locations in and around Kampala where some the martyrs were killed or born. Tourists with time and wish to discover the roots of the Uganda martyrs Christianity, we propose to book and include the Uganda martyrs trail in your itinerary while on a safari to Uganda. These holy places have a lot religious significance including Munyonyo, old Kampala, Ndeeba, Mengo, Busega and Namugongo, the main shrine.
in addition, visiting thhese religious sites and uganda martyrs basilica could be an interesting way to approach the kampala city tour. there you can find other marvolous places of warshhip such as Gadaffi mosque, Bahai temple, Lubaga and Namirembe cathederals, excellent craft markets, national museum, national theatre, Nakasero market, UNESCO world cultural heritage site like Kasubi tombs, Kabaakas palace and thhe cultural and arts of Buganda kingdom.
But Uganda Martyrs basilica Namugongo is great a religious destination. It has so far hosted two famous Roman Catholic popes, Pope Paul VI in 1964 and Pope Francis recently in 2015 which has made the place holy and peaceful.
Pilgrims from neighboring countries like Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda, and Democratic Republic of Congo as well as from overseas in Europe and America come to pay respect to the departed souls during the mass at Namugongo martyrs shrine. Some of these walk miles on foot to appeal to the martyrs to intercede for them through Jesus Christ to overcome their faith challenges. And indeed, some have testified for healing and sanctification from the prayers as they cleanse their souls from their unholy bonds.
To improve tourism during Uganda martyrs day celebrations, services including breakfast, meat roasting and drinks and beverages make it more interesting. You can also find excellent handicrafts and marketplace for fruits and vegetables.
Not only do the pilgrims come for prayers but also for visiting several attractions at the site. The green compound accommodates many people and great for photography of the architectural design. You can enjoy all of this when you visit the Uganda martyrs any time of the year.
The Catholic and Anglican shrines
Uganda is deeply connected to heaven and earth. There are two shrines at Namugongo, the Catholic and the Anglican shrines where prayers, confessions and holy services are conducted as well as personal prayers and teachings about the martyrs are made.
Before the mass begins, various dioceses perform liturgical dances. Besides the music played around the place, the stories of the how the martyrs and historical events that led to their persecution act as entertainment for the faithful.
The Uganda martyr’s museum
The museum is open daily for tourists. It features artistic illustration, carvings and paintings of how the martyrs were killed and burnt alive. There are monuments of the martyrs and historical torture tree.
People visit the man-made lake to fetch and collect the holy water. Roman Catholics believe the water to be holy and is often used for blessings. Swimming is not allowed but you can use a container or jerry can to fetch and take the water.
Food and shopping
Business people to maximize the celebrations sell drinks and variety of food stuffs including goat and pork’s meat as well as a variety of food stuffs. Shopping can also be made for items such as books about the martyrs and the site, rosaries, African crafts and bibles.
Although the big numbers can cause congestion, security is always tight by police and army. Arrive early and secure yourself a place. The place has many trees and pleasant to walk around.
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