Santa Marian Kamalen Day in Guam in 2024

Santa Marian Kamalen Day in Guam in 2024
Santa Marian Kamalen.
  How long until Santa Marian Kamalen Day?
Santa Marian Kamalen Day
  Dates of Santa Marian Kamalen Day in Guam
2025 Guam Mon, Dec 8 Public Holiday
2024 Guam Sun, Dec 8 Public Holiday
2023 Guam Fri, Dec 8 Public Holiday
2022 Guam Thu, Dec 8 Public Holiday
2021 Guam Wed, Dec 8 Public Holiday

Honors a statue of the Virgin Mary that survived Japanese bombing of Guam on December 8th 1941, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

Related holidays

When is Santa Marian Kamalen Day?

Santa Marian Kamalen Day is a local public holiday in Guam on December 8th each year on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

History of Santa Marian Kamalen Day

Santa Marian Kamalen (Our Lady of Camarin) is the Patroness of the Marianas. She is also referred to as the Dulce Nombre, the "Sweet Name," and associated with a 300-year old statue of the Virgin Mary, which is venerated by Roman Catholics in Guam.

Although Guam is an unincorporated and organized U.S. territory, it was a Spanish colony for over 230 years until 1898, when it was ceded to the U.S. This means the island still retains its Spanish heritage including Roman Catholicism, which is the dominant religion in Guam.

This public holiday is observed on December 8th, one of the most important dates associated with Mary, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. On this day the Roman Catholic Church believes that Mary was conceived and that she was born without original sin.

The statue is said to have arrived on a Spanish galleon that was shipwrecked in June 1690 on Cocos Island. It was then found by a fisherman.

The fisherman was part of the militia on the island and he kept the statue in his barracks, which is why the statue gained the name 'Kamalen', literally Barracks.

The statue is 28 inches (70cm) tall and made from wood and ivory. It is enshrined high above the main altar at the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral Basilica, in Hagåtña, the capital of Guam.

The December 8th date is intertwined with Santa Marian Kamalen. On that day in 1941, the statue was moved for safekeeping just as the Japanese bombed the island during the second world war.

After the war, the image was enshrined back at the cathedral on December 8th 1945.

On this day, government (though not federal) offices, schools and most banks will be closed.

The statue has been stolen three times, in 1968, 1971 and 1992. Each time the statue was returned following the promise of an amnesty for the thief. After the third theft, the sensible decision was made to move the statue high up in the wall and display a copy of the statue at a lower level.

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