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Assumption of Mary in the United Kingdom

The feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is also known as Assumption Day and the Dormition of the Virgin Mary. It marks the day that God assumed the Virgin Mary into heaven following her death, according to popular Christian belief. It is observed annually on or around August 15 by some Christian denominations in the United Kingdom (UK).

Is Assumption of Mary a Public Holiday?

Assumption of Mary is not a public holiday. Businesses have normal opening hours.

Assumption Day UK
Assumption Day marks the Virgin Mary's assumption into heaven after her death on August 15.
Assumption Day marks the Virgin Mary's assumption into heaven after her death on August 15.
©iStockphoto.com/mstroz

What Do People Do?

Some Christians fast or abstain from certain types of foods during the first fifteen days of August. They may also attend special church services or say special prayers every day during this period. They view this as a period of spiritual preparation for the feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos or the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. People with family ties to particular areas close to the Mediterranean Sea, such as Greece, may make a special effort to return to their ancestral villages or towns for this period.  

Some observant Christians attend special church services or say special prayers on August 15. This is particularly true of Catholic and Orthodox Christians. They may also eat or abstain from particular types of food.

Public Life

The feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos or Assumption of the Virgin Mary is not a public holiday in the UK. Businesses owned by observant Christians may be closed or have restricted business hours. In addition, the middle of August is a popular period for people in the UK to take a vacation. Some towns and cities are quieter than usual, but resorts and tourist attractions are likely to be very busy. This is particularly true if the weather is sunny and the temperatures are high.

Background

The Virgin Mary was the mother of Jesus Christ. Some Christians believe that when she died, her body was not subjected to the usual process of physical decay. Instead, it was “assumed” into heaven and reunited with her soul. Assumption Day is celebrated by Catholic, Orthodox and some groups of Anglican Christians in the UK.

Symbols

Some Christians display images or statues of the Virgin Mary praying or moving from earth to heaven during early August or on or around August 15. She is often depicted wearing blue garments and standing on a hill or clouds. These images and statues of Mary are to encourage respect for her life and her role in early Christianity.

About Assumption of Mary in other countries

Read more about Assumption of Mary.

Assumption of Mary Observances

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

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