The Feast of the Assumption of Mary 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.
The long weekend of the Assumption, in the middle of the month of August and the summer, has a flavour of summer vacation for working people who go to join their families or vacationing friends. In many villages in France, the month of August coincides with village festivals. They are often organised for the occasion of this long weekend.
Assumption is one of the greatest feast days of Christian life. It celebrates the glory of Mary with God at the end of her earthly life. Mary, after her death, was taken from earthly life to “enter into the life of God”. Assumption Comes from a Latin word which means “to lift” – and should be distinguished from the weekend of Ascension, in the spring.
The feast of the Assumption is celebrated throughout the world by Catholics who gather in many places around 15 August. In France, there are a great many churches dedicated to Mary where you can enjoy the celebration.
In Paris, Catholics organise a river procession on the Seine around the Islands of Saint-Louis and the Cité. The Festival in honour of Mary in Puy-en-Velay and the international procession in Notre-Dame du Puy are also famous. The sanctuary of Lourdes also welcomes thousands of pilgrims for this occasion.