Assumption Day is also known as the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and is observed every 15 August in Wallis and Futuna. Assumption Day celebrates the day when, according to Catholic tradition and doctrine, the Virgin Mary was assumed bodily into Heaven.
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The Assumption of Mary has been a church tradition since at least the 4th Century A.D., but it was not an officially recognised Catholic dogma until the 1950 declaration of Pope Pious XII.
As an overseas collectivity of France, Wallis and Futuna celebrate Assumption Day along with mainland France. Some 99 percent of the people are Roman Catholic, so almost everyone observes this holiday in Wallis and Futuna.
Churches all over the islands are open and holding special Marian services at the midpoint of August each year. Assumption Day is first and foremost a day on which “The Mother of God” and “The Mother of Us All, The New Eve”, is given special honour.
However, it is also a family day. People are off work and out of school. They may even have a three-day weekend to spend. Family feasts and outings abound. It is traditional to go on a mini-vacation this time of year, a tradition that stems from French culture. And the summer weather makes it hard for people to stay indoors, so you will see the parks, nature reserves, and beaches packed to capacity.
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