Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The celebration takes place in the Church of the Assumption in Jerusalem on Mount Olives overshadowing the Gethsemane. It dates back to the 5th century. The Catholic Church celebrates the feast on August 15th and the Greek Orthodox Church celebrates it on August 28th. The feast commemorates the assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary to heaven.
On August 28th, Palestinian Christians from the Bethlehem area walk in a procession from Bethlehem to the Church of the Assumption in Jerusalem. It is a five-hour walk that starts at about 2:00 am. This enables the participants to arrive to the Church at 7:00 am for prayer. The faithful light candles along the 100 steps that lead to Mary’s tomb.
It is believed that the church contains the tomb of the Virgin Mary. The tomb is a chamber in the middle of the church and it is carved in a rock.