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Ascension Day in France

Ascension Day (Ascension) marks the day that Jesus ascended to heaven following his crucifixion and resurrection, according to Christian belief. It is the 40th day of Easter and is ten days before Pentecost Sunday. It is a public holiday in France.

Church Service
Some Christians in France attend church services on Ascension Day.
Some Christians in France attend church services on Ascension Day.
©iStockphoto.com/Slobo Mitic

What Do People Do?

Some Christians in France may attend special church services to mark the ascension of Jesus to heaven. For other people, Ascension Day is an opportunity to spend time with family and friends or to enjoy the spring weather. Ascension Day falls on a Thursday so many people take a day of their annual leave on Friday and so enjoy a four-day weekend. They often use the opportunity to take a short vacation.

Public Life

Public life is generally quiet on Ascension Day. Post offices, banks, stores and other businesses are closed. Outside of tourist areas, restaurants and cafes may also be closed. However, bakeries and some stores in Paris, as well as at airports and railway stations and along major highways, are open. Small businesses may also be closed on the Friday and Saturday after Ascension Day, even if they are usually open on these days.

Public transport service schedules vary depending on where one lives and intends to travel. Some villages and small towns hold sporting or cultural events on Ascension Day and during the following weekend. These may cause some local disruption to traffic.

Background and symbols

Ascension Day marks the day that Jesus ascended to heaven following his crucifixion and resurrection. It is celebrated in many countries including in Canada, Germany, the Netherlands and the United States.

About Ascension Day in other countries

Read more about Ascension Day.

Ascension Day Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday Type
ThuMay 132010Ascension DayNational holiday
ThuJun 22011Ascension DayNational holiday
ThuMay 172012Ascension DayNational holiday
ThuMay 92013Ascension DayNational holiday
ThuMay 292014Ascension DayNational holiday
ThuMay 142015Ascension DayNational holiday
ThuMay 52016Ascension DayNational holiday
ThuMay 252017Ascension DayNational holiday
ThuMay 102018Ascension DayNational holiday
ThuMay 302019Ascension DayNational holiday
ThuMay 212020Ascension DayNational holiday

Quick Facts

Ascension Day marks the day that Jesus ascended to heaven, according to Christian belief.

Ascension Day 2016

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Ascension Day 2017

Thursday, May 25, 2017

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Name in other languages

NameLanguage
L'AscensionFrench
Ascension DayEnglish
Christi HimmelfahrtGerman
Kristi HimmelfartsdagNorwegian

Alternative name

"Himmelspretten"

List of dates for other years

Other holidays in May 2017 in France

Fun Holidays on May 5, 2017

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