As per Christian belief, we commemorate Jesus Christ’s ascension into heaven by observing Ascension Day on the Thursday that occurs 40 (or 39) days after Easter. This year’s event will occur on May 18. The Feast of the Ascension, also known as The Ascension of Jesus, Ascension Thursday, Holy Thursday, or the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord, is a Christian holiday that is also a public holiday in many countries, including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, France, and others.
The background of Ascension Day
Ascension Day, one of the earliest Christian holidays, concludes the Easter season. This event is predominantly observed by Catholics and Anglicans; the majority of Protestant churches no longer observe this custom. Additionally, the date varies between geographic locations. Western Churches prefer to calculate this date using the Gregorian calendar, whereas the majority of Eastern Orthodox Churches use the Julian calendar. Consequently, their festivities occur later than the Western event.
According to the New Testament of the Bible, Jesus Christ was resurrected three days after his crucifixion on Good Friday, on the day we know as Easter Sunday. Then, for forty days, he instructed his Apostles (the primary disciples of Christ) on how to implement his teachings. According to the Bible, Jesus Christ and his disciples travelled to Mount Olivet (or Mount Olives) near Jerusalem at the conclusion of the 40th day. Christ ascended to heaven to assume his place at the right hand of God, under the watchful gaze of his disciples, after requesting their presence. To Christians, Christ’s ascension signifies the completion of his mission on Earth and the preparation of a place in paradise for his followers.
Originally a part of the Easter celebrations, this day was separated from Easter and Pentecost over time. The Christian calendar concludes the cycle of Easter-related events with the celebration of Pentecost.
FACTS ABOUT ASCENSION DAY
Many people venture into the woods at 3 or 4 a.m. to hear the birds at sunrise, believing that hearing a cuckoo from the east or west brings good fortune; this practise is known as ‘gokotta.’
In the past, young boys were flogged with willow branches as they were driven along the parish boundaries to ward off evil.
Ascension Day is more than just a holiday in Wales, where it is considered unlucky to labour on that day.
This day is associated with harmony and prosperity, and wheat represents prosperity in their culture.
Despite the fact that Christianity is a minority religion in Indonesia, Ascension Day is a national holiday.
ASCENSION DAY DATES