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The Feast of the Ascension / “Father’s Day”

The Feast of the Ascension is celebrated forty days after the Resurrection of Christ at Easter. It refers to the story in the Bible in which Jesus Christ ascended into heaven to God in a stream of light in front of his Disciples. (“A cloud received Him out of their sight” Apostles 1:9)

HimmelfahrtSince the 19th Century this feast has been connected with “Father’s Day”, firstly by men who celebrated a “Flurbegehung” an inspection of their land in order to validate their claims of ownership of their fields and meadows. This developed into trips out into nature and high spirited rambles during which the men sang folk songs and drank rich wine and beer. This custom has continued today in many parts of Germany, particularly in Thuringia, Saxony and Berlin. On “Men’s Day” many German men meet up with old friends and take a long, bracing hike. The ‘liquid refreshment’ which often accompanies such trips is not just carried in backpacks but may also be carried in a small wagon decorated with birch branches.