Assumption Day is also known as the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and is observed every 15 August in Slovenia. 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.
Slovenia is a Catholic country and celebrates Assumption of Mary Day as a national holiday. It was declared a public holiday in 1992 after Slovenia declared its independence from Yugoslavia.
There are many Slovenian churches dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and people flock to them on Assumption Day to attend special services. This is especially true of the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in Brezje. Many go on pilgrimage to Brezje or to the Basilica of the “Virgin Protector” in Ptuj on Assumption Day.
An even more unique kind of service occurs annually on Assumption Day Eve on the water. A flotilla of boats bear a precious painting of Mary from Piran over the waves to the seaside town of Strunjan. It is claimed that Mary once made an appearance at Strunjan, and the Church of Vision of Saint Mary was built to commemorate the event. The painting is then brought back again to Piran, again by boat.
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