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Assumption Day – Mallorca, Spain
August 15, 2016 | Blog
August 15 marks one of the most significant holidays in Mallorca (and in Spain): Assumption Day (La Asunción), also known as the “Feast of the Assumption.” Actually, observance of this important Roman Catholic feast day can color much of the month of August on the island, with some businesses shutting down and many festive gatherings underway.
The Assumption of Mary
What exactly is Assumption Day? For some Christians, it celebrates the Assumption of Mary, the Virgin’s Mary bodily ascent into Heaven at the close of her time on Earth. Defined as dogma by the Catholic Church in 1950, the Assumption has been honored with feasts, processions, and other rituals for many centuries. (You may have heard of the Mystery Play of Elche, or Misterio de Elche, a medieval-era drama portraying the Assumption of Mary that’s long been enacted on August 14 and 15 in the Basilica de Santa María in Elche, Spain; it’s been declared part of the “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” by UNESCO.)
Theologians debate whether or not Mary actually died before the Assumption, or whether—in divine recognition of her birthing the Son of God—she took to her eternal abode without enduring a physical death.
Assumption Day Celebrations
We won’t wade into such doctrinal debates here, but we will note just how heartily Mallorcans celebrate Assumption Day (which is observed August 15 or thereabouts in many parts of the world). As with so many religious occasions on this island, spiritual devoutness goes hand in hand with food: The Feast of the Assumption sees families and friends come together in the preparation—and full-hearted enjoyment of—lavish spreads of dishes.
If you’re staying with us at a Hoposa hotel or apartment in mid-August, you’re liable to see many decorations connected to the Assumption and, within churches and beyond, some striking symbolic imagery of the event: often Mary in mid-ascent Heavenward, or depicted in the sleeplike pose representing the close of her earthly existence.
A True Cultural Experience
Piousness and passion, religious faith and absolute delight in the moment—the flavor of this dish, this wine, the joy of this company around you: Assumption Day and the many other feast days scattered across the calendar are always an amazing expression of Mallorcan culture. And that’s something to experience, whether or not you’re of the Christian faith.
We invite you to stay with us in Puerto Pollensa or Deia, wonderful bases from which to witness the August festival of La Ascunción as well as other special Mallorcan holidays—not to mention, of course, local cuisine, glorious Mediterranean beaches, and gorgeous mountain scenery!