Ascension Day in Sweden in 2024

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

In Sweden, Ascension Day, known as Kristi himmelfärdsdag (literally: Christ's journey to heaven day) or more colloquially Kristi flygare (Christ flying), has been celebrated since the mid-300s. The holiday originally celebrated around this time was betessläppningen, the day when cattle were let out to graze on pastures.

Ascension was also historically seen as the first day of summer in some parts of Sweden, referred to as barärmdagen or "bare arm day". It was the first day of the year when women could go outside without their arms covered.

Since 1924 or 1925, it has been also been celebrated as the national day of sobriety by Swedish teetotallers.


In Sweden people go into the woods very early in the morning to hear the birds at sunrise. It is said to be good luck if a cuckoo is heard from the east or west.

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