The Feast of the Assumption is a Catholic celebration that takes place on August 15th every year. It is a public holiday in a number of countries, including Andorra, Belgium, Cameroon, Chile, Cote d’Ivoire, Colombia, East Timor, Gabon, Republic of Guinea, Italy, Lithuania, Republic of Macedonia, Malta, Republic of Moldova, Paraguay, Portugal, Rwanda, Seychelles, Spain, Tahiti and Vanuatu.
Some of the more predominantly Catholic states of Germany, such as Bavaria and Saarland, also have it as a holiday. In Costa Rica, the day is combined with Mother’s Day.
August 15th is believed by many to be the day on which the Virgin Mary was received into Heaven. Popular festivals and religious parades are held in celebration of the day in many places. Some prominent Orthodox and Catholic countries regard it as being an important festival but it is not a public holiday; these include Argentina, the Czech Republic, Mexico, Russia, Brazil, Ireland and the Philippines.
The Feast of the Assumption, also known as Assumption Day, is also celebrated in Canada as the Fete Nationale of the Acadians, of whom the Virgin Mary is the patron saint. In the heavily francophone areas of New Brunswick in Canada, businesses close on this day. Likewise, Mary is also the patron saint of the Maltese Island and August 15th is a public holiday in Malta and is celebrated in all of the local churches with great solemnity.