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#OnThisDay May.13: Ascension Day Dawns just 40-days since Easter Sunday and Jesus ascends into Heaven according to Christian belief #AceHistoryDesk report

Ascension Day marks the 40th day after Jesus Christ’s resurrection, according to Christian belief: Almighty God, whose blessed Son our Saviour Jesus Christ ascended far above all heavens, that he might fill all things: Mercifully give us faith to perceive that according to his promise he abideth with his Church on earth, even unto the end of the world; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Time & Date


What Do People Do?

Ascension Day is sometimes called Father’s Day in Germany because many Protestant men have herrenpartien “outings” on this day. In Sweden, many people go out to the woods at 3 am or 4 am to hear the birds at sunrise. It is good luck if a cuckoo is heard from the east or west. These jaunts are called gökotta, or “early cuckoo morning”.

In England, Ascension Day is associated with various water festivals ranging from Well Dressing in Derbyshire to the Planting of the “Penny Hedge” at Whitby, a small town in Yorkshire. Other customs may include “beating the bounds”. In the old days, it involved beating boys with willow branches as they were driven along parish boundaries, not only to purify them of evil but to teach them the limits of their parish. In modern times, it involves people in the locality walking around their farm, manorial, church or civil boundaries pausing as they pass certain trees, walls and hedges that denote the extent of the boundary to exclaim, pray and ritually ‘beat’ particular landmarks with sticks.

Public Life

Ascension Day is not a federal public holiday in AustraliaCanadathe United Kingdom, or the United States. It is a public holiday in some countries, including:

Government offices, schools, banks, and many businesses are usually closed in countries where Ascension Day is a public holiday. Public transport services may run on weekend schedules in some countries that observe Ascension Day as a public holiday.


Ascension Day is one of the earliest Christian festivals, dating back to the year 68. According to the New Testament in the Bible, Jesus Christ met several times with his disciples during the 40 days after his resurrection to instruct them on how to carry out his teachings. It is believed that on the 40th day he took them to the Mount of Olives, where they watched as he ascended to heaven.

Ascension Day marks the end of the Easter season and occurs ten days before Pentecost. Depending upon the phases of the Moon in a particular year, Ascension Day is celebrated on a Thursday. However, some churches, particularly in the United States, celebrate it on the following Sunday.

Many Eastern Orthodox churches calculate the date of Pascha (Easter) according to the Julian calendar, rather than the Gregorian calendar used by many western churches, so their Ascension Day usually occurs after the western observance.


Ascension Day celebrations include processions symbolizing Christ’s entry into heaven and, in some countries, chasing a “devil” through the streets and dunking it in a pond or burning it in effigy – symbolic of the Messiah’s triumph over the devil when he opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.

In England, eggs laid on Ascension Day are said to never go bad and will guarantee good luck for a household if placed in the roof. In Devon, it was an ancient belief that the clouds always formed into the familiar Christian image of a lamb on Ascension Day. If the weather is sunny on Ascension Day, the summer will be long and hot. If it rains on the day, crops will do badly and livestock will suffer from disease. According to Welsh superstition, it is unlucky to do any work on Ascension Day.

In Portugal, Ascension Day is associated with wishes for peace and prosperity. Traditionally, in rural communities, people make bouquets from olive branches and sheaves of wheat with poppies and daisies. The olive and wheat are symbolic of abundant harvest; the poppy stands for peace and the daisy for money. Wheat is kept in the house throughout the coming year as a symbol of prosperity.

Feast of the Ascension

Obereschach Pfarrkirche Fresko Fugel Christi Himmelfahrt crop.jpg

This article is about a Christian feast. For the metal album, see Himmelfahrt (album).

The Feast of the Ascension of Jesus Christ,[2] also called Ascension DayAscension Thursday, or sometimes Holy Thursday,[3][4]commemorates the Christian belief of the bodily Ascension of Jesus into heaven. It is one of the ecumenical (i.e., universally celebrated) feasts of Christian churches, ranking with the feasts of the Passion, of Easter, and Pentecost. Following the account of Acts 1:3 that the risen Jesus appeared for 40 days prior to his Ascension, Ascension Day is traditionally celebrated on a Thursday, the fortieth day of Easter; although some Christian denominations have moved the observance to the following Sunday. In the Catholic Church in the United States, the day of observance varies by ecclesiastical province. Today, it also coincides with Eid Al-Fitr and the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima.Feast of the AscensionChristi Himmelfahrt by Gebhard Fugel, c. 1893Also calledAscension Day
Ascension Thursday
Holy ThursdayObserved byChristiansTypeChristianSignificancecommemorates the Ascension of Jesus into heavenObservancesService of Worship / MassDate39 days after Easter2020 date

  • May 21 (Western)
  • May 28 (Eastern)

2021 date

  • May 13[1] (Western)
  • June 10 (Eastern)

2022 date

  • May 26 (Western)
  • June 2 (Eastern)

2023 date

  • May 18 (Western)
  • May 25 (Eastern)

FrequencyannualRelated toEasterPentecost



The observance of this feast is of great antiquity. Eusebius seems to hint at the celebration of it in the 4th century.[5] At the beginning of the 5th century, St. Augustine says that it is of Apostolic origin, and he speaks of it in a way that shows it was the universal observance of the Church long before his time. Frequent mention of it is made in the writings of St. John ChrysostomSt. Gregory of Nyssa, and in the Constitution of the Apostles. The Pilgrimage of Aetheria speaks of the vigil of this feast and of the feast itself, as they were kept in the church built over the grotto in Bethlehem in which Christ is traditionally regarded as having been born.[6] It may be that prior to the 5th century the event narrated in the Gospels was commemorated in conjunction with the feast of Easter or Pentecost. Some[who?] believe that the much-disputed forty-third decree of the Synod of Elvira (c. 300) condemning the practice of observing a feast on the fortieth day after Easter and neglecting to keep Pentecost on the fiftieth day, implies that the proper usage of the time was to commemorate the Ascension along with Pentecost[citation needed]. Representations of the mystery are found in diptychs and frescoes dating as early as the 5th century.[citation needed]


The Latin terms used for the feast, ascensio and, occasionally, ascensa, signify that Christ was raised up by his own powers, and it is from these terms that the holy day gets its name. In the Book of Common Prayer of the Anglican Communion, “Holy Thursday” is listed as another name for Ascension Day.[3][4][7] William Blake‘s poem “Holy Thursday” refers to Ascension Day; Thomas Pruen used the term to refer to Ascension Day in his Illustration of the Liturgy of the Church of England, published in 1820;[8][9] however use of the term “Holy Thursday” to mean Ascension Day is rare,[10] and the term is more generally applied by most Christian denominations to Maundy Thursday in Holy Week.

In Western Christianity, the earliest possible date is April 30 (as in 1818 and 2285), the latest possible date is June 3 (as in 1943 and 2038). In Roman Catholicism, the Ascension of the Lord is ranked as a Solemnityand is a Holy Day of Obligation. In the Anglican Communion, Ascension Day is a Principal Feast.

The three days before Ascension Thursday are sometimes referred to as the Rogation days, and the previous Sunday—the Sixth Sunday of Easter (or the Fifth Sunday after Easter)—as Rogation Sunday.

Ascension has a vigil and, since the 15th century, an octave, which is set apart for a novena of preparation for Pentecost.[11]

In traditional Methodist usage, The Book of Worship for Church and Home (1965) provides the following Collect for Ascension Day, commonly called Holy Thursday:[12]

#AceHistoryDesk report ……Published: May.13: 2021:

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