Assumption Day is celebrated every year on August 15 in Italy. This national holiday goes by many names including Ferragosto and The Assumption of Mary. This day honors the Catholic belief that the Virgin Mary was physically taken to heaven by God during her time of death.
August 15 previously hosted a Pagan holiday in pre-Christian times. This day originally celebrated the goddess Isis of the Sea. According to mythology, she was born on this day. Christian church leaders eventually changed this day to a Christian holiday and Assumption Day was then celebrated from that year forth. In Italy and some other places, this public holiday now marks the day that is said to host the event in which God took Mother Mary to heaven instead of allowing her to die a normal death.
Summer is a wonderful time for feasts and celebrations in Italy and Assumption Day is no different. A statue of Mother Mary is carried throughout many cities, schools and businesses close for the day and special festivals and celebrations are held in the streets with plenty of traditional food and activities for the citizens of Italy. Some traditions include lining the streets with images of the Virgin Mary, carrying bowls of rose-scented water and celebrating the color blue which symbolizes the Virgin Mary.
Other countries celebrate this holiday under different names and different dates. Examples of these locations include Austria, Greece, France, and Portugal. Some areas of Germany and Switzerland also celebrate this public holiday. Costa Rica and areas of Belgium combine this holiday with Mother’s Day. Some countries such as Mexico and Russia do not recognize this day as a public holiday, but festivities are still celebrated.
Among the many festivals and feasts celebrated in Italy, Assumption Day is no doubt a major public holiday in the country’s cultural history. It continues to be a day of celebration throughout the area and in many other areas of the world as well.