On August 15, the Feast of the Assumption (or simply, “The Assumption)” is widely celebrated all over faithful Christendom. This holy day marks the occasion of the Virgin Mary’s bodily ascent to heaven at the end of her life.
Assumption celebrations are accompanied by festivals, colorful street processions, fireworks, and pageantry.
While a “feast” isn’t actually required, there is a longstanding tradition of blessing the summer harvest. “Assumption” recipes are incorporated into family dinners. The devoted light candles, attend masses, and say prayers for peace all over the world.
Every country that celebrates the Feast of Assumption has its charming traditions.
- Eastern countries has ladies with the name ‘Mary,’ or having a name derived from ‘Mary’, welcome everyone to their homes in honor of the Blessed Mary. Celebrations are marked grandly with colorful festivals, street processions, pageantry, and fireworks displays.
- The day is known as the Feast of Our Lady of Herbs in Poland, with bouquets made of blossoms and herbs that are taken to church. Children sing hymns at churches and grown-ups dance to the melody of the polonaise.
- Parades with marching bands, funfairs, games, races, costume contests, dancing, and other family-friendly events take place throughout Spain on this day.
- In Sicily, in honor of Mother Mary, partial or complete abstinence from fruit is observed during the first two weeks of the month. On the feast day, all types of fruit are blessed at church and indulged in.
- The country of France, has a statue of Mary is carried in processions with great splendor through the towns and cities on August 15, with accompanying peals of church bells and hymns sung in her honor.
- Finally, a popular old custom on the Feast of Assumption is blessing the sources of harvest. Before the Reformation, in all Christian countries, the clergy would bless the farms, orchards, countryside, and gardens. This ritual is still performed today in the Western parts of Austria, as the ‘Blessing of the Alps.’