The feast day of the Assumption of Mary celebrates the day that the Virgin Mary ascended into Heaven following her death. Mary’s body was not subjected to the usual process of physical decay but was “assumed” into heaven and reunited there with her soul.
The Assumption is considered the principal feast day of the Virgin Mother.
The Feast of the Assumption is a very old feast of the Church, celebrated universally by the sixth century. The feast was originally celebrated in the East, where it is known as the Feast of the Dormition, a word which means "the falling asleep." .
The Assumption became official dogma of the Church on November 1, 1950 when Pope Pius XII solemnly declared:
By the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory
In his August 15, 2004, homily given at Lourdes, Pope John Paul II quoted John 14:3 as one of the scriptural bases for understanding the dogma of the Assumption of Mary. In this verse, Jesus tells his disciples at the Last Supper, "If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and will receive you to myself; that where I am, you may be there also." According to Catholic theology, Mary is the pledge of the fulfillment of Christ's promise.
The feast of the Assumption is a public holiday in many countries, including Austria, Belgium, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Ecuador, France, Germany (Bavaria only), Greece, Lebanon, Lithuania, Italy, Malta, Mauritius, Poland, Portugal, Senegal, Spain and Vanuatu.
Symbolic images of the Virgin Mary and her assumption into heaven have been associated with the day.
Blue is color most often associated with the Virgin Mary. It symbolizes truth and clarity, and it is the color of the sky, which symbolizes heaven.
The lily, which is a symbol of purity, chastity, and simplicity, is also associated with the Virgin Mary.