House of Hangover

Today, August 15, is one of the absolutely biggest holidays in the entire Catholic world: the Feast of Assumption, commemorating the event when the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus, according to Roman Catholic doctrine was taken alive to Heaven and crowned Queen there.

Consequently, the village here in Belgium where we live decided to put on one of the highlights of the last week’s village fête yesterday, and there was much rejoicing and dancing to vehemently loud music all night long. (Well, at least until 2-3 in the morning when we finally fell asleep, I can’t vouch for when they wrapped the party up.)

Consequently, today has been eerily quiet. You could probably go to the village limits and put up large signs saying DO NOT DISTURB. HANGOVER IN PROGRESS without straying too far from the truth.

The local Catholic Church across the street had announced a Virgin Mary procession this morning from the largest local Virgin Mary shrine to the church building (last year I think they walked the other way; maybe they want some change every now and then), but I missed taking a look to see if they managed to gather any faithful. If they did, they certainly were a quiet lot, because there was no discernable commotion from them.

Louder, then, were the church bells, which rang once at the beginning of the event, and, in order to really wake the rest of the village up, once again now at what I understand was the end of the mass, at noon. And to further make sure that no partygoers from last night would remain unaware of their condition, there was a brass band marching off right now to the music of wind instruments and drums. (“Showtime!” exclaimed my four-year-old son at the sound of it. My boy!)

It’s on mornings like these I enjoy most waking up sober.

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