Lateran Treaty Day 2018 and 2019
The Lateran Treaty Day in Vatican City occurs on February 11th each year, regardless of what day of the week this falls on.
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It is a public holiday, which means that all schools, government offices, and most businesses remain closed. In many cases, it is celebrated as a long weekend.
History of Lateran Treaty Day
On February 11, 1929, the Holy See and the Kingdom of Italy signed the Lateran Treaty. This created the Vatican City and brought a resolution to the “Roman Question.” Since the Italian Unification, which took place in 1870, there was a dispute regarding the political status of the Pope in Italy. However, with the Lateran Treaty was enacted, it resolved these issues and helped to create the smallest sovereign state in the world – the Vatican City. Today, Vatican City is only 110 acres and home to a population of 840.
It was the dictator Mussolini who encouraged an alliance with the Vatican. His goal with this action was to eliminate any and all power the Pope had. However, as seen today, the exact opposite happened. Mussolini’s efforts ensured the Pope maintained is status and power in Vatican City, as well as around the rest of the world.
Today, the impact of the Lateran Pact extend much further than Italy. Just a few months after the Treaty was signed, the Vatican State joined the Universal Postal Union. Later on, this was used as a springboard to gain influence in international bodies. Now, the Pope can travel all around the world as a head of state and is even allowed to speak at the United Nations, which is something typically reserved for elected officials or heads of state.
What to Expect on Lateran Treaty Day in Vatican City
On this day, the signing of the Lateran Treaty is observed in Vatican City. However, unlike other public holidays, there are not typically parades or other events that occur. Instead, the day is quiet, and some churches close to Vatican City hold special masses on this day as recognition for what happened.
If you are planning to visit Vatican City on Lateran Treaty Day, it is likely going to seem a bit busier than usual because of the public holiday. Most businesses, restaurants, and other establishments also remain closed. As a result, it is best to ensure you have everything needed before arriving since resources are limited on this day.
How Locals Celebrate
As stated before, this is not a huge occasion, marked with parades and celebrations. Instead, many locals attend special church services, and some families plan large meals on this day. Since everyone is off work and out of school, it gives them the opportunity to spend time together.
Those visiting do not need to worry about eating, either, since there are often community lunches and dinners held at churches in the area. This ensures everyone has a warm meal that day. Community service and feeding the poor is important to the people of Vatican City and something that is considered the duty of those who are faithful.