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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.

Is Feast of the Immaculate Conception a Public Holiday?

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

In 2019 it falls on a Sunday. Due to this, some businesses may choose to follow Sunday opening hours.

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

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2015TueDec 8Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionNational holiday
2016ThuDec 8Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionNational holiday
2017FriDec 8Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionNational holiday
2018SatDec 8Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionNational holiday
2019SunDec 8Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionNational holiday
2020TueDec 8Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionNational holiday
2021WedDec 8Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionNational holiday
2022ThuDec 8Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionNational holiday
2023FriDec 8Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionNational holiday
2024SunDec 8Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionNational holiday
2025MonDec 8Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionNational holiday

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