Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Feast of the

September 8
Only three births are celebrated in the whole Christian calendar: the Virgin Mary's, St. John's on June 24, ( St. John's Day), and Jesus Christ's on December 25 ( Christmas). Although it is not known where the September 8 date of Mary's birth originated, it seems to have been established by the end of the seventh century. In the Coptic and Abyssinian churches, the first day of every month is celebrated as the birthday of the Virgin Mary.
There are a number of legends describing the Virgin Mary's birth. Most early works of art show Mary and her mother, Anne, surrounded by elaborate furnishings and ancient Hebrew decorations, with a choir of angels hovering overhead. There are more festivals in honor of Mary than of any other saint—among them the Feasts of the Immaculate Conception the Annunciation, the Purification or Candlemas, and the Visitation.
In Malta there is a regatta in the capital, Valletta, in celebration of the defeat of the Turks by the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem on this day in 1565, and the end of the Axis siege in 1943 ( see Victory Day).
In northern Europe, the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lady functioned as a traditional harvest festival—a time to give thanks to Mary for the bounty of the fields and to ask her to protect the crops until they were harvested. Native Americans in the United States often observe September 8 with traditional Indian harvest dances in Mary's honor, following mass in the local Roman Catholic mission church.
CONTACTS:
The Mary Page
Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute
University of Dayton
Dayton, OH 45469
937-229-4214; fax: 937-229-4258
www.udayton.edu
Malta National Tourist Organization
65 Broadway, Ste. 823
New York, NY 10006
212-430-3799; fax: 425-795-3425
www.visitmalta.com
SOURCES:
DaysCustFaith-1957, p. 232
FestWestEur-1958, p. 70
FolkWrldHol-1999, p. 553
IndianAmer-1989, pp. 289, 301
OxYear-1999, p. 365
RelHolCal-2004, p. 100
SaintFestCh-1904, p. 400

Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Feast of the (Germany)
September 8
Farmers of the Black Forest region of Germany customarily bring their horses to St. Märgen on this day to be blessed by the local priest. The horses wear traditional harnesses with well-polished brass, which are decorated with flowers. Streamers of ribbon are woven into their manes and tails. Both the farmers and their wives may wear the traditional costumes of the Black Forest valley.
Long known as the center of a famous horse-breeding area, St. Märgen is especially noted for the sturdy horses that work the neighboring farms. September 8, the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is known in the Black Forest region as Pferdeweihe, or the Blessing of Horses .
SOURCES:
FestWestEur-1958, p. 70

Celebrated in: Germany


Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Feast of the (Peru)
September 8
The Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is widely celebrated in Peru, with festivities often beginning on September 1 and lasting for more than a week. It is one of only three birthdays observed by the Roman Catholic Church, the others being Christmas and John the Baptist's birthday ( see St. John's Day).
Several towns in the Mantaro Valley of the Huancayo area hold large fiestas in honor of the Virgen of Cocharcas in the days surrounding September 8. In the village of Sapallango, for example, the festival includes a dance reenactment of the death of an Incan ruler, fireworks, and bullfights. Other Peruvian areas that celebrate the Virgin's nativity include Cuzco, Chumbivilcas, Cajamarca, and Loreto.
CONTACTS:
Commission for the Promotion of Peru
Calle Uno Oeste No. 50, piso 13th
Urb. Corpac
Lima, 27 Peru
51-1-4224-3131; fax: 51-1-224-7134
www.promperu.gob.pe
SOURCES:
FiestaTime-1965, p. 137

Celebrated in: Peru

References in periodicals archive ?
The community is currently located in Tulsa, OK and was decreed a Public Association of the Faithful on September 8, 2011, the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The Charter commanded the Sheriff to "perambulate the new County and City annually on the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 8th September".

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