Every 15 August in Belgium is the public holiday known as Assumption Day. It is a religious feast to celebrate the day when, according to Catholic tradition and doctrine, the Virgin Mary was assumed bodily into Heaven.
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The Assumption of Mary has been a common tradition since at least the 4th Century A.D., but it was not an officially recognised Catholic dogma until the 1950 declaration of Pope Pious XII.
In Belgium, Assumption Day means that children are out of school, government offices are closed, and most businesses are closed down for the day as well. And some may also attend special church services.
However, the main events that Belgians attend on Assumption Day, regardless of religiosity, are sports matches, public markets, parades, and family or other communal meals.
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