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Ascension Day

Ascension Day 2019 and 2020

The people of Luxembourg observe Ascension Day 39 days after Easter Sunday to commemorate the ascension of Jesus Christ into heaven. The actual date of the holiday changes from year to year, but typically occurs in May and always falls on a Thursday in Luxembourg.

Year Date Day Holiday
2019 30 May Thu Ascension Day
2020 21 May Thu Ascension Day

During the 40-day period prior to Jesus ascending to heaven, it is believed that he appeared and preached to his apostles and disciples. According to tradition, this holiday originated in 68 AD; however, it was not written about until the first Ascension Day feast occurred, which took place in 385 AD.

According to the methods of calculating the date of Easter used by Western Christianity, the earliest potential date for Ascension Day to occur is 30 April, with the latest potential date being 3 June. Today, it’s mostly Catholics who actively observe Ascension Day in Luxembourg. Many churches offer special services on this day.

There are many symbols seen on Ascension Day in Luxembourg, which symbolise Christ’s arrival in heaven. In many cases, you see Jesus’s image chasing a “devil” in the streets, or dunking it into a pond, or even burning it in effigy. This is symbolic of the triumph of the Messiah over the devil when he opened heaven to all who believed.

Since Ascension Day always occurs on a Thursday, many people who observe this holiday make the occasion a long weekend.

Ten days after Ascension Day is Whitsuntide or Pentecost. This commemorates the arrival of the Holy Spirit to Jesus’s disciples. Pentecost marks the end of the Easter cycle according to the Christian calendar.