Ascension Day is observed in order to commemorate the very important event of the New Testament history, the ascension of our great messiah, Jesus Christ, in the flesh at the sky. This holiday was established in memory of this biblical event and the terrific promise of Jesus Christ’s second coming. The feast is universally celebrated in all of Christian churches, as well as feasts of Passion, Easter, and holy Pentecost. So when is Ascension Day in 2017?
Messiah’s life and death
Jesus Christ is well-known figure all around the world. He’s a central character of the Holy Bible second chapter, also known as New Testament, and He is the son of the Lord. He’s also considered as God’s reincarnation and plays important role in Holy Trinity.
His life is recorded in various historical and religious texts. Jesus was a good-hearted person and wasted his whole life helping other people. He also had magical abilities, such as turning water into wine and healing wounds.
After Judas betrayed Him, Jesus was captured and horribly tortured by Romans. After all of the pain they inflicted to the great messiah, Romans crucified Him. Slowly dying on the wooden cross, burned by sun and penetrated by nails, He did not give up on humanity.
On the third day after horrible death Jesus Christ, King of the Jews, risen from the dead. His mother, Mary, was second person to know about it. He told all of his disciples to not be afraid and then ascended to heaven as he probably deserved.
History of Ascension Day
The name of this glorious holiday reflects the essence of the festival event – the Ascension into Heaven of the one and only, or, in other words, the end of his earthly ministry. This holiday is usually celebrated only on the fortieth day of Easter, and number fortieth is not accidental. Throughout sacred history, 40 days were always the time to end the great feats. Thus, according to the Law of Moses, on the very fortieth day the babies were brought by parents to the sacred temple of the Lord. And exactly on the fortieth day after the resurrection, or, in other words, after his new birth, Jesus Christ had to enter into the heavenly temple of His Father as the Savior of mankind.
First occurrences of celebrating this feast were already known even in the fifth century. And, according to some of the various sources, like frescos and paintings, the feast of Ascension was celebrated even earlier: in the late fourth century.
Ascension Day in Catholicism and Orthodox
What day is Ascension Day in 2017 for Roman Catholics? Traditionally, in Western Christianity, this important feast is celebrated on the good old 40th day of Easter, which is observed on April 16th in 2017. Thereby, Ascension Day in 2017 takes place on Thursday, May 25th in 2017. However, in some of the confessions, this Day is celebrated only on Sunday in the sixth week after the Easter Sunday.
In such Churches as Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Christians, this holiday, in Greek called «Analepsis», which means literally “taking up”, or “ascension”, is one of the 12 Great Feasts in the Orthodox Church. And when is Ascension Day in 2017 observed in the Eastern Church, then? The feast of Ascension is far not always celebrated on the same day in Western and Eastern Christian Church. Thus, in 2016 the difference between Catholic and Orthodox this strange day was almost one month. However, in next year Eastern Ascension Day coincides with its Western version, so the both East and West celebrate it on May 25th, which, as we have already established, is the fortieth day of Easter.
Ascension Day in different countries
When is Ascension Day in 2017 in calendars of different countries? This happy day is an official country holiday in a great number of various countries, including
Ascension Day in England
Christians in the UK attend different church services on this day celebrating the Ascension of Jesus Christ. Ascension Day, sadly, is not a public holiday in the England, so all government agencies, offices, public transport etc. work according to their usual schedule. Some schools in the England Kingdom have a day off on this holiday. Students of Sunday schools may participate in different activities concerning meaning, origins, and traditions of this holiday.
Like in the most Western countries, Ascension Day in England Kingdom is observed on the fortieth day of Easter, which is May 25th in 2017.
Ascension Day in Netherlands
In Netherlands, like in England, Ascension Day is a day when faithful Christians attend church services to pray and commemorate Jesus Christ’s ascension to Heaven. For common people, it’s just a day to have a rest from everyday routine and go outside for a walk or just in warm and nice spring weather.
Because of a combination of different holidays, such as Easter, Queen’s Day, Liberation Day, day, which we learn in this article, and other national and religious holidays that fall really close together in April and May, there is a long holiday period in schools lasting two and half weeks. Also, it’s a period of breaks and days off for workers, so it is very popular time segment for vacations in Holland.
Unlike United Kingdom, in Holland Ascension Day is an official and legal holiday and considered to be equal to a Sunday, so many people all around the country have their days off in this period. Businesses and some government establishments are closed for good on this day, public transport traffic is reduced. Also, there are some restrictions concerning sale of alcohol on this holiday.
Ascension Day in other countries
In the most of Western countries, this happily day is celebrated traditionally on the fortieth day of Easter which is May 25th in 2017.
Speaking about what the date of Ascension Day is in 2017 in Colombia, it should be noted, that Colombians celebrate Ascension Day always on Monday. Thus, in 2017 this mystery day falls on April 29th.
In Germany country, this mystery day is a public holiday in all states. Like in Holland, sales of alcohol, pubic performances and dancing are restricted.