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Assumption of Mary in Canada

Quick Facts

The Feast of the Assumption of Mary in Canada is observed as a Holy Day of Obligation - a day when some Christian denominations are obliged to attend mass, on August 15 each year.

Local names

NameLanguage
Assumption of MaryEnglish
L'AssomptionFrench
Mariä HimmelfahrtGerman

Assumption of Mary 2014

Friday, August 15, 2014

Assumption of Mary 2015

Saturday, August 15, 2015
List of dates for other years

The Feast of the Assumption of Mary (Fête de l'Assomption) or the Dormition (falling asleep) of the Theotokos in Orthodox Churches, celebrates the Christian belief that God assumed the Virgin Mary into heaven after her death on August 15.

In the Canadian Maritime provinces, August 15 is also celebrated as the National Acadian day (Fête Nationale de l’Acadie) that celebrates the Assumption of Mary and their national day.

Assumption of Mary

Assumption Day celebrates the day when Mary was "assumed" into heaven.

©iStockphoto.com/Mark Strozier

What Do People Do?

Many Christians attend mass (church service) and have feasts to celebrate Assumption Day on August 15. Some celebrate the feast of the Assumption by going on a pilgrimage to Rama, Saskatchewan to visit the Grotto of Our Lady of the Assumption (shrine) that replicates the famous grotto in Lourdes, France. Some of the Orthodox Churches in Canada fast from August 1 to August 14 to honor the Assumption of Mary.

In the Canadian Maritime provinces, the Assumption of Mary is also the national day for Acadians. There are many parades, concerts, cultural activities, food festivals, competitions, and tintamarre – noise parades to celebrate August 15.  Tintamarre is a parade where Acadians show their national pride by beating on the tin bottoms of old pots and pans, blow whistles, decorate their cars, and dress up in costumes.

Public Life

Assumption Day is not a public holiday in Canada so schools, government offices and businesses are open. Public transport providers run to their usual schedules. Some businesses are closed in parts of New Brunswick, Canada on August 15.

Background

Assumption Day is considered a Holy Day of Obligation that observes the belief that when the Virgin Mary died, she was “assumed” into heaven.  The Orthodox Churches believe in the Dormition of the Theotokos (falling asleep of the Mother of God) that at the end of her life, Mary was physically taken up into heaven. Assumption Day is an important day for Christians because it is considered the Virgin Mary’s heavenly birthday – the day that Mary was received into heaven.

In the Canadian Maritime provinces, Acadians celebrates the Assumption of Mary and also declares August 15 their national day. The date August 15 was chosen as their national day because the Acadians view the Virgin Mary as their patron saint. They wanted to distinguish themselves from other French Canadians to emphasize their unique cultural and historical identity. National Acadian Day was approved by the Vatican in January 1938, and was officially accepted by the Parliament of Canada in June 2003.

Symbols

Some churches in Canada are named in memory of the Assumption of Mary. The Acadians celebrate August 15 with their national anthem, Ave Maris Stella, and their national flag inserts a gold star that represents the Virgin Mary in the blue section of the French Tricolor flag.

About Assumption of Mary in other countries

Read more about Assumption of Mary.

Assumption of Mary Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday typeWhere it is observed
WedAug 151990Assumption of MaryChristian 
ThuAug 151991Assumption of MaryChristian 
SatAug 151992Assumption of MaryChristian 
SunAug 151993Assumption of MaryChristian 
MonAug 151994Assumption of MaryChristian 
TueAug 151995Assumption of MaryChristian 
ThuAug 151996Assumption of MaryChristian 
FriAug 151997Assumption of MaryChristian 
SatAug 151998Assumption of MaryChristian 
SunAug 151999Assumption of MaryChristian 
TueAug 152000Assumption of MaryChristian 
WedAug 152001Assumption of MaryChristian 
ThuAug 152002Assumption of MaryChristian 
FriAug 152003Assumption of MaryChristian 
SunAug 152004Assumption of MaryChristian 
MonAug 152005Assumption of MaryChristian 
TueAug 152006Assumption of MaryChristian 
WedAug 152007Assumption of MaryChristian 
FriAug 152008Assumption of MaryChristian 
SatAug 152009Assumption of MaryChristian 
SunAug 152010Assumption of MaryChristian 
MonAug 152011Assumption of MaryChristian 
WedAug 152012Assumption of MaryChristian 
ThuAug 152013Assumption of MaryChristian 
FriAug 152014Assumption of MaryChristian 
SatAug 152015Assumption of MaryChristian 
MonAug 152016Assumption of MaryChristian 
TueAug 152017Assumption of MaryChristian 
WedAug 152018Assumption of MaryChristian 
ThuAug 152019Assumption of MaryChristian 
SatAug 152020Assumption of MaryChristian 

Other holidays in August 2014 in Canada

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