Ascension Day in Western Christianity Date in the current year: May 5, 2016

Ascension Day in Western Christianity The Feast of the Ascension (also known as Ascension Day or Ascension Thursday) is celebrated 39 days after Easter. It commemorates the Ascension of Jesus into heaven. In some countries, Ascension Day is a public holiday.

The Ascension of Jesus is the Christian teaching that 40 days after his resurrection, Jesus was taken up to heaven in his resurrected body. The Feast of the Ascension is one of the most ancient observances of the Church. It has been observed since at least the 5th century. In Roman Catholicism, Ascension Day is one of the holy days of obligation on which the faithful are obliged to attend the Mass.

A number of countries observe the Feast of the Ascension as a public holiday. In some countries that do not, observance is sometimes moved to the following Sunday. It is bishops of ecclesiastical provinces who decide whether to move a feast.

There are rituals connected with the feast's liturgy. For example, it is customary to bless beans, grapes, first fruits, and candles. Outside the churches, triumphal processions with banners and torches are held to commemorate the entry of Jesus Christ into heaven.

In some churches, the Paschal candle is extinguished on this day just right after the Gospel. However, it might be extinguished on Pentecost instead.

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Religious Holidays


Eland, Andorra, Aruba, Austria, Belgium, Benin, Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Curacao, Ivory Coast, Denmark, Faeroe Islands, Finland, France, French Polynesia, French Guiana, Gabon, Germany, Greenland, Guadeloupe, Indonesia, Iceland, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Mayotte, Martinique, Monaco, Namibia, Netherlands, New Caledonia, Norway, Reunion, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Helena, Saint Martin, Saint Pierre et Miquelon, Senegal, Sint Maarten, Svalbard and Jan Mayen, Sweden, Switzerland, Wallis and Futuna, Togo, Swaziland, Vanuatu


Feast of the Ascension, Ascension Day, Ascension Thursday, religious holidays, public holidays