Vietnamese Catholics from all over the United States are heading to southwestern Missouri for a four-day religious festival. The four-day festival, known as The Marian Days, starts on the first Thursday of every August in Carthage, Missouri.

It is the preeminent pilgrimage for Vietnamese Catholics in America. The festival first took place in 1978 and has been held for 41 years.

According to a report from the Joplin Globe, the festival serves as a means for friends and families who were separated during the fall of Saigon in 1975 to get together. The majority of those attending choose to camp at the festival.

Long-time participant Peter Chau Le is one of the countless refugees who fled Vietnam to the US when North Vietnam invaded South Vietnam in the 1970s. Le said he enjoyed the festival as he could reunite with his friends and family.