Around the world: Solemnity of the Assumption

Learn how this Holy Day of obligation is celebrated around the world
The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Image: Wikimedia Commons

The Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a public holiday in most of Europe, much of Africa, Latin America, the Pacific, Lebanon and Syria. Closer to Australia, the Assumption is also a pubic holiday in East Timor.

1. Italy

Ferragosto is celebrated throughout Italy and expatriate communities with processions, Masses and sometimes fireworks.

Fireworks in Padua, Italy to celebrate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Image: Wikimedia Commons


2. Latvia

The Basilica of the Assumption in Aglona, Latvia is a major place of pilgrimage, which attracts thousands for its festival for the Solemnity of the Assumption each year.

Thousands gather before Aglona Cathedral for the Assumption. Image: Aglona Te Amo.



3. Rome

The Pope traditionally takes a holiday during the worst of Rome’s sweltering summer months in Castel Gandolfo, which overlooks Lake Albano. From there the Holy Father celebrates the Assumption.

Castel Gandolfo, overlooking Lake Albano. Image: Wikimedia Commons


4. Jerusalem

Our Lady’s Assumption took place in Jerusalem and is celebrated by groups with Mass in the Basilica of the Gethsemane, followed by a Rosary procession to the nearby Tomb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which is in the care of the Greek Orthodox and Armenian Apostolic Churches. Watch a video of Assumption celebrations in Jerusalem here. 

Terra Santa News’ coverage of the Assumption in 2016. Image: Terra Santa News


5. Los Angeles

All parishes have Mass because it is a Holy Day of Obligation. Some parishes have special events to celebrate.

Next week Los Angeles displays impressive Marian devotion in a Grand Marian Procession to celebrate the birthday of the city, which was named in honour of Our Lady of the Angels – Nuestra Señora Reina de los Angeles.

This is usually held in late August to celebrate the Feast of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which is in the liturgical calendar on August 22, one week after the Assumption.



6. France

Last year the French Bishops’ Conference dedicated each Mass said on the Solemnity of the Assumption to France and her intentions, after the spate of terror attacks, including the shocking murder of Fr Jacques Hamel on 26 July 2017.

At Notre Dame de Paris, there is a procession with the silver statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary and an honour guard of Knights and Dames of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre.

The death of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Notre Dame Paris. Image: Wikimedia Commons


7. Korea

The Solemnity of the Assumption is also Liberation Day in Korea, a celebration of its liberation from Japanese occupation in WWII. It is celebrated with Masses around Korea and a large national flag is sometimes raised during Masses in Seoul’s Myeongdong Cathedral.


Korean Statue of Our Lady of Korea. Photo: Wikimedia Commons


8. Latin America

All of Latin America celebrates the Assumption with their many rich traditions. Our Lady of the Assumption is Patroness of Guatemala City, which has huge celebrations each year.

Our Lady of the Assumption depicted in the Agripina de Sánchez tomb in Guatemala City Cemetery. Photo: Wikimedia Commons


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