While thousands of pilgrims stormed Namugongo, a great number went into partying mood characterised by heavy drinking, eating and dancing.
As the mass went on at the catholic shrine, just a stone throw away in temporary dance shelters, would be pilgrims danced away. Many held each other in ways that may have passed for abomination in the lives and preaching of celebrated martyrs.
Many of those on the sidelines of the prayer sessions don’t even have any remorse, they believe whichever way they spend their day they are remembering the martyrs.
Fallen under the weight of overnight drinking more pilgrims lay scotched under the sun with some secured under the shades of temporary shelters.
“We all drink but some of these people over drunk because they had no other things to do,” one of the revellers said.
As if to exonerate themselves from judgment many we queried on why they didn’t go to church said they had been their earlier. Others had totally different reasons that diverted them from the prayer point.
“We left the queues going to the shrine because we were being squeezed and robbed at the same time, so we decided to come this side (drinking) where there is no commotion,” another pilgrim said.
“We are just trying to enjoy everything including prayers, drinking and eating,” a pilgrim said in Lusoga.
Besides alcohol and music, another vibrant business was pork which still attracted drunkards.
Still on the sidelines of the celebrations, the Red Cross had a busy too securing people who had tired from long walks from different places.
Security also had petty situations of misbehaving pilgrims who needed to be put in check.
The rest of the outside premises were crowded by numerous pilgrims who had only been blocked out because of the huge numbers inside. Some of these attentively listened in to what transpired and participated diligently and even put in their offertory.