Assumption Day has long been an Orthodox Christian holy day in the land of Romania, but only a few years ago did it become an official public holiday. Assumption Day celebrations, however, were already large and widespread before the public holiday was formally created.
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Assumption Day comes every 15 August in Romania, and is also called by two other names: Saint Mary’s Day and Dormition of the Theotokos. The last-named name means “falling asleep of the God-bearer,” in reference to Mary’s death and her being the mother of Jesus Christ.
Orthodox devout will fast for two full weeks, 14 days, leading up to Assumption Day. And there will then be special church services and numerous colourful religious processions when the day arrives.
The cause of the celebrations is the belief that Mary’s body did not see decay but instead was miraculously transported, or “assumed,” up to Heaven by God, where it was reunited with her soul, which was already there.
The Assumption of Mary has been observed by Catholics and Orthodox of many lands since the A.D. 300’s. Symbols of the day, and of Mary, are the colour blue, to stand for the heavens, and the lily, a flower that stands for purity.