Ascension Day 2018
Ascension Day 2018 is celebrated on Thursday, May 10th. Ascension Day does not have a fixed date.
When Do We Celebrate Ascension Day?
Ascension Day is celebrated each year on the 40th day of Easter, which is the Thursday 39 days after Easter Sunday. It is also known as Holy Thursday, Ascension Thursday, and The Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The day always falls between April 30th and June 3rd in the West. Some Christian denominations observe the holiday on the Sunday after Ascension Day.
It is not known exactly when Ascension Day became a holiday, but there are rumors that it may have been around as early as the 4th century.
Why Do We Celebrate Ascension Day?
Ascension Day is a celebration of the ascension of Jesus into heaven after His resurrection. It is a very important feast across all Christian denominations. In addition to the ascension of Christ, Ascension Day is also a commemoration of the Holy Georgian Martyrs of Persia.
The traditions surrounding the feast vary according to denomination, and if the celebrant practices Western Christianity or one of Eastern or Oriental Orthodox religions. Either way, Ascension has a vigil, a feast, and octave (though it may be called something different).
Some denominations and the Roman Catholic Church in select countries celebrate Ascension Day on the Sunday after Ascension Thursday so as to not interrupt the work week. In the U.S., Boston, Philadelphia, Hartford, New York, Newark, and Omaha are cities that have not moved observance of the feast to Sunday.
Because the Eastern Orthodox Church does not determine Easter’s date the same way the Western churches do, the Eastern churches often end up celebrating Ascension Day after the Western churches. The Western churches do celebrate at the same time as some of the Oriental Orthodox Churches.