Today is a Public holiday here in Italy in celebration of this event.
The Feast of the Immaculate Conception celebrates belief in the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is celebrated every year on 8 December in a number of countries including Italy where the date is a Public holiday.
I do not know much about the celebrations as I am not Catholic but assume that the church has special services. There is a widespread misunderstanding of the term ‘immaculate conception’ as many believe it refers to Mary's conception of Jesus, that the date of this celebration occurs only seventeen days before Christmas should make the error obvious! Annunciation of the Lord or the Incarnation of Christ, as it is also known is celebrated on 25 March, exactly nine months before Christmas Day. It was at the Annunciation, when the Blessed Virgin Mary humbly accepted the honour bestowed on her by God and announced by the angel Gabriel, that the conception of Christ took place.
The Feast of the Immaculate Conception, goes back to the seventh century, when churches in the East began celebrating the Feast of the Conception of Saint Anne. In other words, this feast celebrates the conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the womb of Saint Anne; and nine months later, on September 8, we celebrate the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
It is sunny and 10C (at 9.30am) so I think we will be working in the garden today, tidying up ready for the winter.