Ascension Day

Ascension Day Quick Facts - NL

AKA NameHelmelvaartsdag
HashtagsCompiled on#AscensionDay
Related Hashtags#Ascension
2024 Date9 May 2024
2025 Date29 May 2025


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Ascension History

The Observance of Ascension, or Hemelvaartsdag in Dutch, is a Christian celebration that marks the day when Jesus Christ ascended bodily into heaven. This event is celebrated annually by believers as a testament to their faith and a reminder of the hope for eternal life. The Netherlands observes this day with reverence and festivities, allowing followers to reflect on the divine promises and the unifying power of their faith.

The Ascension (Biblical) has origins in the New Testament of the Bible, specifically in the books of Mark, Luke, and Acts. Occurring 40 days after Easter, it marks the culmination of Jesus' resurrection narrative and signifies his final departure from Earth. According to biblical accounts, Jesus led his disciples to the Mount of Olives, where he blessed them and instructed them to continue his work before ascending into the sky before their eyes. This event establishes the basis for the Christian belief in Jesus' presence at the right hand of God, interceding on behalf of believers.

In the Netherlands, the Ascension is celebrated on the 40th day after Easter, also known as Ascension Day.This occasion is often marked by church services, community gatherings, and local traditions, giving the Dutch an opportunity to honor the divine and connect with their spiritual heritage.

Ascension Day facts

  • The Apostle's Creed, one of the statements of faith in the Christian Church, mentions Jesus' ascension:
    I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth;
    And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord,
    who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary,
    suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried.
    The third day he rose from the dead.
    He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
  • Ascension is the 40th day after Easter, celebrated on the sixth Sunday of the Easter season in Protestant churches and on the 40th day after Easter in Roman Catholic churches. It commemorates the day that Jesus ascended into heaven (Acts 1:1-11) after spending 40 days appearing to his disciples after his resurrection.
  • This day is also associated with the Dutch love of cycling, with many people taking part in a special cycling event called the 'Ascension Day Tour' – a 125-kilometer ride that takes participants through the Dutch countryside.
  • Ascension Day is also traditionally associated with the start of the Dutch herring season, with many fishmongers and street vendors selling fresh herring on the streets of cities and towns.

Top things to do in Netherlands for Ascension

  • Go bird watching. A custom in Sweden, is to get up early in the morning of Ascension and venture out into the woods to listen for the call of a cuckoo. It is considered good luck to hear one on this holiday.
  • Go to church and learn about why Jesus' ascension is important to the Christian faith. Jesus is considered to be both human and divine, and the ascension is an illustration of Christ's divine nature.
  • Attend Open Air Church Services: Many churches in the Netherlands hold open-air services on Ascension Day, which allows attendees to participate in worship while enjoying the outdoors.
  • Visit Keukenhof Gardens: The beautiful Keukenhof Gardens, known for its vast tulip fields, is open during the Ascension Day holiday. This can be an excellent opportunity to witness the stunning landscapes and floral displays.

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