General Prayer Day around the world in 2022

General Prayer Day around the world in 2022

  How long until General Prayer Day?
General Prayer Day
  Dates of General Prayer Day around the world
2023 Various May 5
DenmarkFri, May 5National Holiday
Faroe IslandsFri, May 5National Holiday
GreenlandFri, May 5National Holiday
2022 Various May 13
DenmarkFri, May 13National Holiday
Faroe IslandsFri, May 13National Holiday
GreenlandFri, May 13National Holiday
2021 Various Apr 30
DenmarkFri, Apr 30National Holiday
Faroe IslandsFri, Apr 30National Holiday
GreenlandFri, Apr 30National Holiday
2020 Various May 8
DenmarkFri, May 8National Holiday
Faroe IslandsFri, May 8National Holiday
GreenlandFri, May 8National Holiday
2019 Various May 17
DenmarkFri, May 17National Holiday
Faroe IslandsFri, May 17National Holiday
GreenlandFri, May 17National Holiday

Great Prayer Day is basically a collection of minor Christian holy days consolidated into one day

  Which countries observe General Prayer Day in 2022?
  DenmarkMay 13National Holiday
  Faroe IslandsMay 13National Holiday
  GreenlandMay 13National Holiday

When is General Prayer Day in Denmark?

Store Bededag, also known as Great Prayer Day or General Prayer Day, is a special Danish festival celebrated on the fourth Friday after Easter Sunday.

The earliest date it can fall on is 17 April and the latest is on 21 May.

Great Prayer Day is basically a collection of minor Christian holy days consolidated into one day.

History of Great Prayer Day

Unusually for a holiday, the source for Great Prayer can be traced to one man, Hans Bagger, who was a bishop in Roskilde in the late seventeenth century. Bagger had introduced some new praying and fasting days, but given the number of holy days in the calendar already, it became clear that all the days of praying and fasting were having an impact on daily life, so it was decided that several of the lesser holy days should be combined into one of Bagger's days, which became Great Prayer Day.

The Great Prayer Day was put on the Statute book by King Christian V in 1686.

Under the law, all trade, work, etc were forbidden from 6pm on the day before Great Prayer Day, to ensure that nobody would be late or drunk when they had to attend the next day's obligatory church service.

The bakers came up with the idea of baking some extra 'hvede' – cardamom-infused wheat buns with a generous spreading of butter on the Thursday which could then be heated up and eaten the following day. It gradually became common throughout the country to eat the hot buns, but nowadays on the evening before Great Prayer Day.

Work, games, gambling and other “worldly vanity” were also not allowed during the religious penitence. Today, while you can now indulge your "world vanity" on General Prayer Day, shops and most supermarkets will be closed, as well as non-essential public sector services.

In Copenhagen it has been common to go for a walk on Langelinie, on the ramparts around Christianshavn; a custom, which can be traced back to 1747 when Copenhagen Cathedral ‘Vor Frue Kirke’ (The Church of Our Lady) had a new carillon.

The day was heralded the previous evening by ringing the church bells.

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