Assumption Day was celebrated in Italy on this day. The Catholics believe that on this day the body of the Virgin Mary was taken up to Heaven after her earthly life had ended. Teachings about the Assumption of Mary became widespread across the Christian world, having been celebrated as early as the 5th century.
Across Italy schools are closed, banks are closed and it is a public holiday. In Oberbozen we visited the local church where the local community has a church service followed by a public procession. People carry statues of Christ and Mary along with many religious banners on tall poles through the countryside. Many of the locals were dressed in traditional clothing. The men wore lederhosen and the women wore traditional dresses.
Adjacent to the church is a beautiful walled cemetery with plots of soil in front of each grave planted with colorful flowers. Many of the graves also have elaborate metal work crosses and placards with the names of the deceased.
After the religious celebrations there is a public party similar to what you might find at an Octoberfest celebration. There was a giant tent with a large band playing all sorts of tunes and picnic table after table of people celebrating. There were lots of beer, pretzels, wine, roast chicken, sausages, French fries and lots of sweets. Kent and Christine ordered lots of food and drinks for everyone so we could enjoy the flavor of the holiday celebration. The festivities went on from about noon until 2:00 in the morning. The festival grounds were just behind our hotel so we could hear the band from our hotel.
Around 2:00 in the afternoon we watched the local neighborhood celebrating with a parade down the main street. Since the community is small the parade consisted of a few marching bands, a few horses and a few floats. The theme was “bee honey” and the entire parade, organized by the firefighters, lasted only about fifteen minutes.
As if we had not eaten enough at the festival, we had our usual five course dinner in the dining room.