The Seychelles third largest island, La Digue, a personal favourite of this correspondent for its laid back attitude and unique way of life, is preparing for the Feast of Assumption, when the Catholic faithful from the archipelago are joined by hundreds of tourists to celebrate this religious festival, which has become a cornerstone in the annual calendar of events promoted by Seychelles Tourism. This year the festival is expected to last for several days, to allow more visitors to come and be part of La Digues long tradition, starting on August the 10th and culminating in the grand event on the 15th, when a procession will be held to La Grotte with an open air mass.
The archipelagos nearly 87.000 strong population is deeply rooted in Catholicism and the age old celebration on La Digue has in recent years found more followers from around the world, literally doing pilgrimage to the island and joining the Seychellois faithful in their prayers.
The Seychelles Tourist Board, not missing a beat, has gone flat out to promote the event in their recent mailings and marketing activities and has been handing out relevant information to tourists arriving on the archipelago in recent days to promote day trips, from the main island of Mahe and the second largest island of Praslin to La Digue.
STBs Chief Executive Elsia Grandcourt was quoted to have said: The La Digue Feast or Lafet La Digue as it is commonly known is an event of distinctive Seychellois character which shows to our visitors the vibrancy of our culture, which is something they come here to experience. It is through these kinds of events that Seychelles will continue to proudly show its colours to the world.
The Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture, Alain St. Ange, added his own views when he commented about the upcoming even to this correspondent: The Feast of La Digue is an excellent example of what the Seychelles Brand of tourism stands for. Here we go beyond our natural attributes of sun, sea & sand to allow visitors to experience the unique island-style way of life of our islands. Todays traveller is looking beyond just soaking up the sun on our world-beating beaches, and we must continue to bring to bear the characteristics of our Kreolite to attract visitors to our shores.
In a related development, and very timely ahead of the Feast of Assumption was the latest Seychelles in your Pocket guide map released from the printers, this time numbering 150.000 copies. An invaluable tool for tourist visitors, whom the little folding guide with its maps and key locations assists getting around the archipelagos capital Victoria or generally find locations across Mahe, Praslin or La Digue, the 2012 edition will be distributed for free by the Seychelles Tourist Board, their offices in key overseas markets but also by local resorts and the DMCs, hotels, restaurants and other tourism related businesses to both enhance the holiday experience as well as serve as a little souvenir when coming home and dreaming of a return to the islands at some point in the future.
Seychelles truly Another World.