Feast of the Immaculate Conception in Italy

The feast of the Immaculate Conception (L'Immacolata Concezione) is an Italian public holiday celebrated annually on December 8. The day commemorates when Mary, the mother of Jesus, was graced by God to lead a life “free of sin” according to Catholic belief.

Jesus' mother Mary is honored on L'Immacolata Concezione, held on December 8 in Italy.
Jesus' mother Mary is honored on L'Immacolata Concezione, held on December 8 in Italy.
©iStockphoto.com/Todd Arbini

What Do People Do?

Immaculate Conception Day is a day when many Italians attend a church mass to honor Mary, whom they believe is immaculate, or “free from sin”. One of the highlights is a celebration led by the Catholic pope in Rome, who kneels in prayer and lays a floral wreath on the statue of the Madonna at the Piazza Mignanelli. In some places there is street entertainment by jugglers and street clowns for the public.

Public Life

The feast of the Immaculate Conception is a nationwide public holiday in Italy. Organizations and businesses that are closed include:

  • Government offices.
  • Post offices.
  • Banks.
  • Schools and other educational institutions.

Many shops are open at this time of the year for people to start their Christmas shopping. Transport options, such as taxis, rail services between major cities and major long-route bus lines, are available but travelers are advised to check routes and timetables with the local transport authorities.

Background

The celebration of the Immaculate Conception can be traced back to when the Vatican officially declared the feast on December 8, 1854. This holiday is celebrated in some other countries worldwide.

Symbols

Many shops in Italy sell paintings, statues, relics and other types of artwork related to Mary, Jesus’ mother, also referred to as the Virgin Mary.

About Feast of the Immaculate Conception in other countries

Read more about Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

Feast of the Immaculate Conception Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday Type
WedDec 82010Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionNational holiday
ThuDec 82011Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionNational holiday
SatDec 82012Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionNational holiday
SunDec 82013Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionNational holiday
MonDec 82014Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionNational holiday
TueDec 82015Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionNational holiday
ThuDec 82016Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionNational holiday
FriDec 82017Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionNational holiday
SatDec 82018Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionNational holiday
SunDec 82019Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionNational holiday
TueDec 82020Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionNational holiday

Quick Facts

Immaculate Conception Day is a nationwide holiday in Italy on December 8 that celebrates the belief that Jesus’ mother Mary is “free of sin”.

Feast of the Immaculate Conception 2016

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Feast of the Immaculate Conception 2017

Friday, December 8, 2017

Name in other languages

NameLanguage
ImmacolataItalian
Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionEnglish
Mariä EmpfängnisGerman

List of dates for other years

Other holidays in December 2016 in Italy

Fun Holiday on December 8, 2016

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