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Feast of the Immaculate Conception in United States

Quick Facts

The Feast of the Immaculate Conception is a Christian observance on December 8 each year.

Local names

NameLanguage
Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionEnglish
Inmaculada ConcepciónSpanish
העיבור ללא חטאHebrew
الحبل بلا دنسArabic
원죄 없는 잉태Korean
Mariä EmpfängnisGerman

Feast of the Immaculate Conception 2014

Monday, December 8, 2014

Feast of the Immaculate Conception 2015

Tuesday, December 8, 2015
List of dates for other years

Many Christians, particularly those of Catholic faith, in the United States observe the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on or around December 8.

Colorful wooden statue of Mary.

Various images depicting the Immaculate Conception often feature Mary as a young woman.

©iStockphoto.com/Gijs van Ouwerkerk

What do people do?

Many churches, especially the Catholic Church, in the United States hold special services (or masses) to commemorate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on or close to December 8. The feast focuses on the concept that the Virgin Mary was conceived without sin. Many churches that observe the Feast of the Immaculate Conception are busy preparing for it prior to its occurrence.

The Feast of the Immaculate Conception is a legal holiday in Guam, known as Our Lady of Camarin Day, commemorating a small wooden statue known as Our Lady of Camarin (Santa Marian Kamalen). The statue is found in the Agana Cathedral Basilica. It has been tradition since the early 1900s for the statue to be taken down, groomed and placed on a cart, which is then pulled into Hagåtña, Guam’s capital. This statue leads a procession, in which people pray in various languages to honor Jesus through his mother Mary.

Public life

The Feast of the Immaculate Conception is a public holiday in Guam, which is an unincorporated territory of the United States. However, this event is not a nationwide public holiday in the United States.

Background

The Feast of the Immaculate Conception centers on the belief that Jesus’ mother, the Virgin Mary, was conceived without sin. Pope Pius IX issued an apostolic constitution, known as the Ineffabilis Deus, on December 8, 1854. This document clarified the importance of the Immaculate Conception in the Catholic Church.  This day is a public holiday in Guam. A law in Guam attempted to eliminate this holiday for locals in 2002 but this attempt did not succeed due to public pressure. Typhoon Pongsona struck Guam on the feast day on December 8 that year.

Symbols

Various paintings, statues and other forms of artwork have been made depicting the Immaculate Conception. They usually show Mary as a young woman dressed in white and blue. She is often standing on a hill or raised area and has a halo of stars around her head. The pieces of art may also include images of clouds, golden lights, cherubs, lilies or roses. 

One well-known example associated with the Immaculate Conception is a statue known as Our Lady of Camarin (Santa Marian Kamalen), which was found on the shores of Merizo in Guam more than 300 years ago. The statue’s hands and face are made of ivory and the jewel-studded crown sits atop a cap of natural hair. It has survived earthquakes, fires, typhoons and World War II. The statue was stolen in 1968, 1971, and 1992 but was successfully retrieved.

About Feast of the Immaculate Conception in other countries

Read more about Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

Feast of the Immaculate Conception Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday typeWhere it is observed
SatDec 81990Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionChristian 
SunDec 81991Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionChristian 
TueDec 81992Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionChristian 
WedDec 81993Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionChristian 
ThuDec 81994Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionChristian 
FriDec 81995Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionChristian 
SunDec 81996Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionChristian 
MonDec 81997Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionChristian 
TueDec 81998Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionChristian 
WedDec 81999Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionChristian 
FriDec 82000Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionChristian 
SatDec 82001Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionChristian 
SunDec 82002Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionChristian 
MonDec 82003Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionChristian 
WedDec 82004Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionChristian 
ThuDec 82005Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionChristian 
FriDec 82006Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionChristian 
SatDec 82007Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionChristian 
MonDec 82008Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionChristian 
TueDec 82009Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionChristian 
WedDec 82010Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionChristian 
ThuDec 82011Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionChristian 
SatDec 82012Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionChristian 
SunDec 82013Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionChristian 
MonDec 82014Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionChristian 
TueDec 82015Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionChristian 
ThuDec 82016Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionChristian 
FriDec 82017Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionChristian 
SatDec 82018Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionChristian 
SunDec 82019Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionChristian 
TueDec 82020Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionChristian 

Other holidays in December 2014 in United States

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