On January 24th, 2016, a group of more than 25 Slovaks gathered at Ottawa's Notre Dame Basilica, dressed in traditional Slovak costumes. This was for a special occasion that happens annually called the Homeland mass. It is a beautiful mass, full of colour, singing, prayers and overall good warmth.
There are several other cultures that attend and dress in traditional attire, including indigenous people, China, Africa, Sri Lanka, etc.. The combination of attire, the backdrop of the cathedral and the many flags of different countries are what make the event so bright. Of course we can't forget the Archbishop and the Knights of Columbus with their large feathery hats.
At the end of mass there is a feast of traditional foods brought in by each cultural group. Everyone takes pictures, talks to the Archbishop and learns about other cultures that attended the mass. People leave with happy memories, looking forward to next year, and wondering which countries will say a verse next time.
Article: Barbora Dej, Photos: Tibor Dej