Quote of the Day

The best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.

– John Wooden –

From Ikishima to Hakata

Father’s Day in Germany

My German niece has just reminded that German Father’s Day is only two days away (9 May  2013).  I had only thought of our upcoming trip to London, where we will spend part of the German Mother’s Day (second Sunday in May) at a Sri Lankan wedding.

Father’s Day in Germany is always celebrated on the religious holiday of Christi Himmelfahrt (Ascension Day), which is also the 40th day after Easter. Some relate to this holiday also as Männertag or Herrentag.

In 1936, Christi Himmelfahrt became a national holiday.

Here in Germany, this holiday is always on a Thursday, with schools closed on Fridays and families get to enjoy a four-day weekend.

There are quite a few get-togethers with only males roaming the countryside with lots of beer on board. Hence, Männertag oder Herrentag.

Father's Day in Germany

Father’s Day in Germany

Because of the increased alcohol consumption, this national holiday ranks #1 (yes, number one!) in alcohol-related accidents and fights. This information is from the German Statistical Office, also known as Statistisches Bundesamt (StBA).

Christi Himmelfahrt

Christi Himmelfahrt is known in English as Ascension Day. It is celebrated on the 40th day after Easter Monday.

The name comes from the New Testament, where it is described how Jesus ascended to heaven having shown himself to his aspostles 40 days after the resurrection.

The day is a bank holiday in all of Germany as has been since 1936, although it was not celebrated in the GDR between 1967 and 1989.

The day is also known as Vatertag – Father’s Day and many clubs and organisations hold their annual parties, open days or outings on this day.

In 2008 Christi Himmelfahrt fell on the same day as Maifeiertag!

To hear a simple explanation and a short discussion in German, listen to the podcast:

(Press the “play” button to listen to the podcast)

Download a transcript

Download the MP3 file | Subscribe to the podcast

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