Thursday, June 12, 2014

Kristi Himmelfahrt

Although we have a separation of church and state in the US, Christianity underlies many of our holiday traditions.

However, when I was in Germany, I experienced a national holiday that was truly Christian. It was called Kristi Himmelfahrt. That translates to Christ's heaven journey. In English we call it the Ascension.

It was a Thursday and almost every store was closed. There were no signs to inform customers why stores were closed. It seemed to be assumed that everyone knew that it was Kristi Himmelfahrt. And everyone did know!

Because it was also Father's Day. That's right, Father's Day in Germany is always on Ascension Thursday. Apparently, it's because Jesus was journeying up to heaven to be with his father.

I don't know which seems odder to me — that Father's Day is the same day as a major Christian holiday or that it's on a Thursday.

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