Every 15 August is a feast day and holiday in Vatican City for Assumption Day. This feast celebrates the taking up (assumption) into Heaven of both the body and soul of the Virgin Mary.
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In the Vatican City and surrounding Rome, there are all-night vigil masses to welcome Assumption Day. There are also many special events held in Rome, at nearby seaside resort towns like Ostia, and elsewhere.
In and around Rome, the weeks leading up to Assumption Day are a time to relax and celebrate. It is called “Ferragosto”, the festivities of Augustus. The ancient holiday of Ferragosto and the Catholic Assumption Day have long since merged in Italy.
For Assumption Day, many Romans visit the beach or the mountains. Businesses mostly close down or go on abbreviated schedules. People gather to hear special sermons and prayers of the Pope – especially the Angelus prayer cycle at noon, with its three “hail Marys”.
Also, there are Ferragosto music concerts, fireworks displays, and other events near the Tiber River and along the seashore at Ostia and Fregene.