The Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary is an official public holiday in Andorra. This is a traditional Roman Catholic holy day and has been for observed in some form for centuries. The faithful attend a special holy mass in their local parish or go on a trip to a larger church with a more spectacular service.
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Mary is often referred to as Our Lady of Meritxell in Andorra due to a legend of a statue of Mary and Jesus found by a rose that bloomed out of season. These events are said to have occurred in the 12th Century A.D. A chapel was built to house it and can be visited in the town of Meritxell.
Over 85 percent of Andorra’s population is Roman Catholic and the church has a special relationship with the state, although Roman Catholicism is by no means an “official state religion”. This relationship, however, makes it natural for Andorra to make a high feast day like Immaculate Conception a national celebration.