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Holidays, School vacations, Non-working days

Celebrating the Ascension of Christ in Germany: dates, celebration, conventional congratulations, greetings, traditions and customs on the Ascension of Christ

On this page you will find a description of the Ascension of Christ festivities in Germany. Celebration dates by year, customs and traditions common for Germany on the Ascension of Christ, a description of the origin, congratulations & greetings.

  Dates for the Ascension of Christ celebration in Germany

The date of the Ascension of Christ celebration in Germany changes every year.

The Ascension of Christ celebration date in Germany:
Thursday 9 May 2024 .

Below is a list of dates for celebrating the Ascension of Christ in Germany by year, provided that in previous and subsequent years the present practice and time of the holiday celebration is preserved:

  Other names of the holiday

Holiday name in German: Christi Himmelfahrt.

We are not aware of any other names for the Ascension of Christ in Germany.

  Holiday status in the territory of Germany

Ascension of Christ is an extra non-working day throughout Germany – it’s a national holiday.

  Wishes and congratulations, greetings on the Ascension of Christ in Germany

Typical wishes and congratulations in connection with the Ascension of Christ celebration:

On Father's Day, children write postcards to their fathers expressing gratitude and love.

  Description of the Ascension of Christ celebration: customs and traditions:

On the Ascension Day, Germany celebrates 2 holidays at a time, in fact, the Ascension itself and Father's Day. In the popular mind, the Ascension of Our Lord is Father's Day, although these are different holidays.

Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ

The event with reference to which this holiday is established is described in the Bible: on the 40th day after his death and resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ ascended to heaven to his Father, God. Historically, the traditions of this celebration have been associated with fertility customs (see the page below for more details).

On this day, worship services are held in churches. In the past, performances used to be staged with the figure of Christ rising to the vault of the church and disappearing into the oculus/ opening in the ceiling, upon which flowers, pictures and pastries fell therethrough.

Besides, on this day, processions or walks through the fields were organized to protect the harvest from bad weather and ask for blessings.

Father's Day

Father's Day or Fathers Day is also celebrated on the Day of the Ascension of Christ. In connection with this celebration, it is conventional to take trips or treks to the country with handcarts filled with bottles of beer and sausages. Decorated bicycles, tractors, carriages, carts and other vehicles can also be used for the outing. Either the whole family or men alone participate in these trips.

In some parts of Germany, men's parties are held on this day, and the day itself is called Men's Day (in German: Männertag, Herrentag) rather than Father's Day. On this day, it is customary to drink a lot of alcohol, which results in numerous brawls, fights and accidents.

  The origin of the Ascension of Christ holiday

Under the biblical narrative, Jesus Christ, after his death and resurrection, remained on earth for another 40 days and met with his disciples, continuing to teach them. 40 days after resurrection, he ascended to heaven to his Father, God. His ascension to heaven was watched by many of his disciples until he disappeared into the clouds. This event has been celebrated since the 4th century AD.

There are not many customs common for this day, and they have little to do with the ascension of Christ. For example, one of them is to ride or go around the fields with a prayer service (in German: Flurumzüge, Bittprozessionen) to protect the harvest from bad weather and bless the house and the homestead for three days preceding the Feast of the Ascension of Christ.

  Photos, pictures for the holiday

To enlarge and view the picture, click on it with the mouse button.


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