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Assumption of Mary in Germany

Quick Facts

The Feast of the Assumption of Mary is an occasion for Catholics to honor the belief that God assumed the Virgin Mary to heaven. It is a public holiday in some parts of Germany on August 15 each year.

Local names

NameLanguage
Mariä HimmelfahrtGerman
Assumption of MaryEnglish

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 (Mariae HimmelfahrtMariae Aufnahme in den Himmel) is celebrated in some states in Germany on August 15 each year. It is a public holiday in Saarland and some parts of Bavaria. Many Catholics attend special church services and some people collect herbs as a tradition for the day.

The Feast of the Assumption of Mary is a time for many Catholics to commemorate Mary's assumption to heaven.

©iStockphoto.com/THEPALMER

What do people do?

Many Catholics attend special church services where church bells ring to announce the start of these services. Where two churches are near, the church bells may be sounded in unison. Religious parades and summer festivals are held in some areas on August 15.

There are special traditions about trees and plants on the Feast of the Assumption of Mary. The first ripe walnuts or hazelnuts are called Mary's nuts (Mariennuesse) and are given to children. People may go out into the fields and meadows to collect herbs with medicinal and culinary properties. Popular herbs to collect are:

Some herbs are placed by alters and others are fixed to the walls of houses and stalls.

Public life

August 15 is a public holiday in the German states of Saarland and Bavaria (some parts). Post offices, banks, stores and other businesses are closed in these areas. Some stores in tourist areas may be open and stores at railway stations, airports and along highways are usually open. Public transport services vary depending on where one lives or plans to travel. The Feast of the Assumption of Mary is not a public holiday in other parts of Germany on August 15.

Background

The fourth ecumenical council was held in Chalcedon, now part of Istanbul, Turkey, in 451 CE.  The council decided that the Assumption of Mary would be recognized as a Christian feast. This feast is important for Catholics because it marks the moment that Mary's body and soul went to heaven, according to Catholic belief. The date was fixed as August 15 sometime around the year 700 CE.

Symbols

Paintings or other artworks depicting Mary's assumption often depict Jesus or God, representing heaven, at the top. Notable early Christians or other people are usually in the lower part of the paintings and represent life on earth. These paintings show Mary making her journey to heaven. She may be accompanied by angels or cherubs who serve as her guides.

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 MaryCommon Local holidaysBavaria, Saarland
ThuAug 151991Assumption of MaryCommon Local holidaysBavaria, Saarland
SatAug 151992Assumption of MaryCommon Local holidaysBavaria, Saarland
SunAug 151993Assumption of MaryCommon Local holidaysBavaria, Saarland
MonAug 151994Assumption of MaryCommon Local holidaysBavaria, Saarland
TueAug 151995Assumption of MaryCommon Local holidaysBavaria, Saarland
ThuAug 151996Assumption of MaryCommon Local holidaysBavaria, Saarland
FriAug 151997Assumption of MaryCommon Local holidaysBavaria, Saarland
SatAug 151998Assumption of MaryCommon Local holidaysBavaria, Saarland
SunAug 151999Assumption of MaryCommon Local holidaysBavaria, Saarland
TueAug 152000Assumption of MaryCommon Local holidaysBavaria, Saarland
WedAug 152001Assumption of MaryCommon Local holidaysBavaria, Saarland
ThuAug 152002Assumption of MaryCommon Local holidaysBavaria, Saarland
FriAug 152003Assumption of MaryCommon Local holidaysBavaria, Saarland
SunAug 152004Assumption of MaryCommon Local holidaysBavaria, Saarland
MonAug 152005Assumption of MaryCommon Local holidaysBavaria, Saarland
TueAug 152006Assumption of MaryCommon Local holidaysBavaria, Saarland
WedAug 152007Assumption of MaryCommon Local holidaysBavaria, Saarland
FriAug 152008Assumption of MaryCommon Local holidaysBavaria, Saarland
SatAug 152009Assumption of MaryCommon Local holidaysBavaria, Saarland
SunAug 152010Assumption of MaryCommon Local holidaysBavaria, Saarland
MonAug 152011Assumption of MaryCommon Local holidaysBavaria, Saarland
WedAug 152012Assumption of MaryCommon Local holidaysBavaria, Saarland
ThuAug 152013Assumption of MaryCommon Local holidaysBavaria, Saarland
FriAug 152014Assumption of MaryCommon Local holidaysBavaria, Saarland
SatAug 152015Assumption of MaryCommon Local holidaysBavaria, Saarland
MonAug 152016Assumption of MaryCommon Local holidaysBavaria, Saarland
TueAug 152017Assumption of MaryCommon Local holidaysBavaria, Saarland
WedAug 152018Assumption of MaryCommon Local holidaysBavaria, Saarland
ThuAug 152019Assumption of MaryCommon Local holidaysBavaria, Saarland
SatAug 152020Assumption of MaryCommon Local holidaysBavaria, Saarland

Other holidays in August 2014 in Germany

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