Ascension Day in Netherlands in 2025

  How long until Ascension Day?
Ascension Day
  Dates of Ascension Day in Netherlands
2025 Netherlands Thu, May 29 National Holiday
2024 Netherlands Thu, May 9 National Holiday
2023 Netherlands Thu, May 18 National Holiday
2022 Netherlands Thu, May 26 National Holiday
2021 Netherlands Thu, May 13 National Holiday

This day observes the departure of Jesus from earth after his resurrection. It is perhaps the earliest observed celebration in Christianity.

  Local name
  Ascension Day in other countries
Ascension Day internationally

When is Ascension Day?

Ascension Day is the 40th day of Easter and commemorates the ascension of Jesus into heaven 39 days after resurrection on Easter Sunday. It may also be known as The Feast of the Ascension, The Ascension of Jesus, Ascension Thursday or Holy Thursday.

What is Ascension Day?

You will find the Biblical accounts of the Ascension in Matthew 28:16-20, Mark 16:19-20, Luke 24:50-53 and Acts 1:6-11.

During the forty-day period before he ascended into heaven, it is believed that Jesus preached and intermingled with his apostles and disciples.

According to tradition, Ascension Day was first celebrated in 68 AD, however the first written evidence of the Ascension Day Feast occurred in 385 AD.

Today, Ascension Day is celebrated primarily by Catholics and Anglican Christians. According to the Western Christianity methods of calculating the dates of Easter, the earliest possible date for Ascension Day is April 30, the latest possible date is June 3.

How is Ascension Day celebrated?

Ascension Day celebrations include the following:

The Easter (Paschal) candle is put out.

There may be processions with torches and banners and fruits and vegetables may be blessed in church.

In the Catholic Church, the Feast of Ascension is a holy day of obligation (sometimes called holydays) when the faithful are obliged to attend Mass.

Feast of the Ascension and Easter

Ten days after Ascension is Pentecost (Whitsuntide) which commemorates the coming of the Holy Spirit to the disciples. Pentecost ends the cycle of Easter related events in the Christian Calendar.

Did you know?

Germany also celebrates Father's Day (Vatertag) on the same date. This tradition dates back to the eighteenth century when prizes were awarded to fathers after Ascension Day parades in rural areas.

Ascension Day customs

An old English tradition is that if it is sunny on Ascension Day, it will be a warm summer; but if it rains, it will a poor harvest and livestock will suffer from disease.

Ascension Day Customs in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands, a custom is 'dauwtrappen', which literally means 'treading the dew'. People wake up at dawn to go for an early morning walk or cycling tour. This tradition can be traced to the past when people used to wake up at 3am on Ascension Day, to walk barefoot through the grass and sing and dance, and celebrate the arrival of new life in nature. Nowadays, some families will cycle or go out for a walk on the morning of Hemelvaart instead. Catholic and Protestant Churches will also hold a Mass on Ascension Day.

As the Netherlands tends to enjoy quite nice weather around the time that Hemelvaart falls, the day off has also become a popular date for various events and festivals, such as the Breda Jazz Festival or Rollende Keukens in Amsterdam. 

Furthermore, many schools close on the Friday after Hemelvaart, and sometimes people opt to take the Friday off work allowing them to enjoy a long weekend.

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