Home > Calendar > Holidays > Italy > Assumption of Mary

Assumption of Mary in Italy

Quick Facts

Assumption Day, also known as the Feast of the Assumption, is an annual public holiday in Italy on August 15.

Local names

NameLanguage
AssunzioneItalian
Assumption of MaryEnglish
Mariä HimmelfahrtGerman

Assumption of Mary 2014

Friday, August 15, 2014

Assumption of Mary 2015

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

Every year many Italians observe Assumption Day, also known as Ferragosto, on August 15. This national holiday celebrates the Catholic belief that God took the body of Jesus’ mother Mary into heaven at her death. 

Colorful wooden statue of Mary.

A statue of Jesus' mother Mary, who is honored in Italy on Assumption Day.

©iStockphoto.com/Gijs van Ouwerkerk

What do people do?

Ferragosto is a widely celebrated national holiday in Italy during the summer. It involves processions of people carrying the statue of Jesus’ mother Mary in many towns and cities . One of the days of the Palio di Siena, or Il Palio in the city of Siena in Tuscany is held on August 16, coinciding with Assumption Day. This event involves a horse race around the Piazza in the city. Firework celebrations also take place on evening of Assumption Day.

Public life

Assumption Day is a nationwide public holiday in Italy. Organizations and businesses that are closed include:

Transport options, such as taxis, rail services between major cities and major long-route bus lines, are available but travelers are advised to check first with the local transport authorities.

Background

For many years, many Catholic churches in Italy celebrate Ferragosto, or the feast day of the Assumption of Mary. Many churches in Italy believe that August 15 is the day that God assumed the Virgin Mary into Heaven at the end of her life.  However, its origins date further back to pre-Christian times when August 15 was a Pagan holiday. The Catholic church later adopted this date to commemorate the belief of Mary’s assumption into heaven.

Symbols

Statues and icons of the Virgin Mary are brought out for display and carried out in street processions on Assumption Day in Italy.

About Assumption of Mary in other countries

Read more about Assumption of Mary.

Assumption of Mary Observances

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

Other holidays in August 2014 in Italy

Advertising

Other calendars

Related links