Pilgrims flock to Catholic shrine

The first group of pilgrims that travel to Aglona for the annual Catholic feast of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary have set off - on foot - from the city of Liepāja some 400 kilometers away, to reach the celebration that starts on August 11, reported BNS newswire on Monday.

The catholic gathering attracts thousands of believers and is a tradition that developed many other traditions within itself.

On July 30, groups of pilgrims from other cities will follow suit, and as is customary some will make a pilgrimage with bicycles, while soldiers from the Latvian National Armed Forces will start, along with their relatives, off from Ādaži on August 5.

The annual Catholic feast of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Aglona, eastern Latvia, culminating on August 15 with the Holy Mass gathers thousands of believers from Latvia and other countries.

The pilgrimage is considered a national-scale event and also receives financing from the state budget.

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