The Assumption of the Virgin Mary is a public holiday in many countries of the Catholic tradition. Credit: Pixabay
Many businesses and services are closing their doors from Thursday in preparation for the long weekend ahead. But as yet another public holiday is scrapped off the calendars in Belgium, what exactly is celebrated on August 15?
As with many public holidays in Belgium and Europe, Thursday’s holiday has its roots in the Christian religion and it is generally celebrated around the same time every year.
Like its name indicates, The Assumption of Mary into Heaven, commonly shortened to The Assumption, marks the moment where the Virgin Mary left her earthly life and entered into Heaven.
In Christian and Orthodox tradition, the holiday is regarded as the Virgin’s “heavenly birthday,” and is celebrated as a promise that all Christian devotees will also be received in Heaven.
Many countries of the religious tradition list the date as a public holiday, with most offices, shops and public services shutting down, although some remain open.
The Assumption is most commonly celebrated by devotees who attend mass, where the subject of the sermon commonly revolves around the figure of the Virgin.
Putting an artistic spin on the holiday, an Antwerp church is hosting a live art installation which will see a Belgian artist create a Virgin Mary mosaic out of Lego bricks, following a live-painting act it set up inside the church in 2018.