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Assumption of Mary in France

The Feast of the Assumption of Mary (L'Assomption de Marie) celebrates the Catholic belief that the Virgin Mary's spirit and body was assumed to heaven. It is an important occasion for village and church festivals and is a public holiday in France.

Is Assumption of Mary a Public Holiday?

Assumption of Mary is a public holiday. It is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed.

Assumption Day UK
Many Catholics believe that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was assumed to heaven.
Many Catholics believe that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was assumed to heaven.
©iStockphoto.com/mstroz

What Do People Do?

Many Catholics in France attend church services to mark the Assumption of Mary on August 15 each year. Many churches are dedicated to the Assumption of Mary and hold special celebrations on this date. Village festivals are held in rural areas. These festivals may consist of sports events, parades, markets or communal meals. The Feast of the Assumption of Mary is in the middle of the August holiday season so many people are on vacation at this time.

Lourdes is a village south-west France, close to the Spanish border. It became a center of Christian Pilgrimage after a girl claimed that a beautiful lady appeared to her in the Grotto of Massabielle on February 11, 1858. Many Catholics believed that this was the Blessed Virgin Mary. Millions of people now attend the special celebrations held in Lourdes on August 15 each year.

Public Life

Public life in France is generally quiet on the Feast of the Assumption of Mary. Post offices, banks, stores and other businesses are closed. Outside of tourist areas, restaurants and cafes may also be closed for one or more days. However, some stores in Paris, as well as at airports and railway stations and along major highways, are open.

Public transport service schedules vary depending on where one lives and intends to travel. Some villages and small towns hold parades or other events that may cause some local disruption to traffic. Churches may be closed for visitors who do not wish to take part in the services and guided tours may not be available.

About Assumption of Mary in other countries

Read more about Assumption of Mary.

Assumption of Mary Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2010SunAug 15Assumption of MaryNational holiday
2011MonAug 15Assumption of MaryNational holiday
2012WedAug 15Assumption of MaryNational holiday
2013ThuAug 15Assumption of MaryNational holiday
2014FriAug 15Assumption of MaryNational holiday
2015SatAug 15Assumption of MaryNational holiday
2016MonAug 15Assumption of MaryNational holiday
2017TueAug 15Assumption of MaryNational holiday
2018WedAug 15Assumption of MaryNational holiday
2019ThuAug 15Assumption of MaryNational holiday
2020SatAug 15Assumption of MaryNational holiday

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