Assumption Day is also known as the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and is observed every 15 August in Cyprus. 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.
In Cyprus, Assumption Day is celebrated by both Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholics. Some Eastern Orthodox churches follow the Julian Calendar and celebrate Assumption Day on 28 August instead, but the Assumption Day holiday is observed on 15 August in Cyprus just like in the West.
In Cyprus, this holiday is also called the “Dormition” of the Mother of God. That means the “falling asleep” or day that she died. They also believe she was “assumed” that same day, so the term Assumption Day is also used by them.
Some people fast for up to 14 days prior to Assumption Day in accord with Eastern Orthodox tradition. On the day itself, people attend church and hear about Mary and her importance to their faith. There may also be religious parades and small festivals in local towns and villages.
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