Everything You Need To Know About The Assumption Of Mary

The Assumption of Mary or Assumption is one of the most important festivals in the Christian and especially in the Catholic calendar. Ohmymag will explain the origin, significance, and traditions during this festival.

Everything You Need To Know About The Assumption Of Mary

1. The date: It takes place on the 15th of August.

2. The history: The Assumption, also called Dormition, is a festival that celebrates the reunion of Mary with God in heaven and her ascension into heaven. The story of Mary's death is not told in the Gospels but in later texts called the Biblical apocrypha, this event is not celebrated by Protestant Christians and is only celebrated in the Catholic and Orthodox Church.

In Catholic countries this festival has been celebrated since, at least, the fourth century, before being a dogma of the church. It was only in 1950 that pope Pius XII made this Marian festival official, proclaiming that the Assumption marked the ascension of the body of the Virgin Mary into heaven.

Among Orthodox Christians the 15th of August is also a time to pay homage to Mary but it is not called the Assumption but the Dormition. The difference is that in the Orthodox Church they do not believe in the immaculate conception and its theological consequences. So in the eastern orthodox church Mary really died and was mortal.

3. The traditions: The day of the Assumption is a bank holiday in almost all Catholic countries. It is even a public holiday in Arcadia, a region of Canada. Falling in the middle of summer, it's not rare for people in France to organise a short holiday or a weekend away. Unfortunately, this isn't the case in the UK as Assumption day is not a public holiday.

As for religious traditions, the Assumption is celebrated with torchlight processions, in which a statue of Mary is carried around. This tradition is observed in the south of Europe, mainly in Spain and the occitanie region of France.

Historically speaking, other folklore traditions are too linked to the assumption, such as harvest festivals and some maritime traditions. So, many port towns choose the 15th of August to bless their ships as Mary is seen as the protector of fishermen and men going to sea.

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