Kristi Himmelfartsdag

Kristi Himmelfartsdag

Unlike its name implies, Kristi Himmelfartsdag is a serious religious holiday also known as Ascension day. Unfortunately the name is a bit humorous in English. It has nothing to do with "farts"!

This is not an unique holiday for Denmark, since it is celebrated in most western countries. In Denmark, it is a paid holiday, where almost all businesses are closed. Some businesses will also close on Friday, but this is not a paid holiday.

The holiday is to commemorate Christ's ascension into heaven, which occurred 40 days after his resurrection and 10 days before Pentecost.  This is always celebrated on the 6th Thursday after Skærtorsdag (Holy Thursday), so the date always changes from year to year.  This year it will be held on May 30, 2019.  

Note: The earliest this holiday can fall in any year is the 30th of April and the latest it can fall in any year is June 3.


Kristi Himmelfartsdag is the day that marks Jesus’s last day on earth as a human as he ascends to heaven, so he could return to earth as a Holy spirite on the Pentecost or Pinse.

 Ascension is a turning point in the gospel story of Jesus as the Son of God, just as Christmas is. Long before the church began celebrating Jesus' birth, it has celebrated ascension. For with the end of Jesus' life on earth, the history of the community of believers could begin in the Church.

If an employee takes off on the following Friday, they will usually have to take a free day or day without pay. Even if the whole company closes and an employee does not wish to take off, they might be obliged to do so and without pay. So it is in Denmark.

Some companies will pay holiday pay, but it does not seem to be the norm.

Kristi Himmelfartsdag Traditions

Not much is done to celebrate this day in Denmark outside of the church. There are services in some churches and you will have to check with your local church to see what their programs are. Most large churches will have a service. It is smaller churches that may not.

Most Danes do not celebrate this as a religious holiday, but celebrate the fact that they have a day off and can enjoy the good weather (hopefully) in their yards, relaxing or getting together with friends.

Rarely will you find large numbers in church celebrating the meaning of the celebration.  Some of the larger churches like Trinitatis Kirke  and Sankt Matthæus Kirke in Copenhagen will have a celebration with sermons and music. Check out your local churches to see if they will have or know where you can celebrate with other like minded churchgoers.  You can also follow other religous events at the Danish Folkekirken.

Learn more about religion in Denmark.

You can also learn more about other holidays here.

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