Germans observe Ascension Day, Father’s Day Thursday

by Petra Lessoing
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Germans observe a religious holiday Thursday called “Christi Himmelfahrt,” or Ascension Day. The Bible says Christ’s ascent into heaven took place on the 40th day after Easter, which is why it’s always held on a Thursday.

First, Christians celebrated the fest together with Pentecost. Later, in the fourth century, it was observed as a holiday of its own.

Besides celebrating the church fest, Germans also recognize Father’s Day on Ascension Day.

For years, it was customary for men, young and old, fathers and non-fathers, to meet and have fun together. They went for long walks, and to quench their thirst, they took along a decorated handcart filled with beer cases or kegs. A partial origin of that day of men dates back to the German forefathers, who in springtime walked through their land and fields and asked the gods for a fertile year. Afterward, they had a drink together.

Today, the holiday is an additional day when families can do something together. They go on bike trips, hikes or have barbecues.

Since Ascension Day is also an official holiday in Germany, stores, public institutions and banks will be closed.

Several communities in the KMC will sponsor festivals for the whole family. The Alsenborn Entertaining Association will hold a Father’s Day get-together starting at 10 a.m. in the yard of the old school. In Bann, the local gun club will have a Father’s Day barbecue at their club house. A forest fest will lure visitors to Fritz-Claus-Hütte in Martinshöhe. The Reichenbach Music Association will start its annual Father’s Day celebration 11 a.m. in Alte Mühle.