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Ascension Day of Jesus Christ

Ascension Day of Jesus Christ 2017 and 2018

The Ascension Day of Jesus Christ is one of Indonesia’s 13 public holidays. On this day, Indonesian Christians follow holiday traditions and spend time with their family members.

YearDateDayHoliday
201725 MayThuAscension Day of Jesus Christ
201810 MayThuAscension Day of Jesus Christ

Indonesians who are not Christian often use the holiday to relax. Although 90 percent of the Indonesian population is Muslim, Ascension Day is a major holiday. Approximately 10 percent of the Indonesian population is Christian. The Christian demographic includes over 25 million Indonesians. Ascension Day is celebrated by both Protestants and Catholics in Indonesia. In Indonesian, the Ascension Day of Jesus Christ is known as Kenaikan Isa Almasih. Kenaikan Isa Almasih always falls on a Thursday. The major Christian event is the 40th day of Easter. It is celebrated exactly 39 days after Easter Sunday.

The Ascension of Jesus Christ

According to the New Testament of the Holy Bible, Jesus Christ had five major milestones in his life. These milestones include baptism, transfiguration, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension. Ascension is closely related to resurrection and ascension. The Bible states that after Jesus Christ was crucified by the Romans, he was resurrected. During his life after resurrection, Jesus Christ spoke to his apostles and followers about the teachings of God. After this, Jesus Christ ascended to Heaven in the presence of eleven of his apostles.

From this point, it became the role of the apostles and other Christians to spread the teachings of Jesus Christ. Many Christians believe that Jesus Christ’s ascension to Heaven identifies his as God. Christian scholars also believe that Christ’s ascension proves him to be the Messiah. Ascension is considered to be the conclusion of the Easter holidays.

History of Ascension

Ascension Day is one of the earliest known Christian holidays that is still practiced today. Some documents and other historical evidence prove that the holiday was celebrated as early as 68 CE. Jesus Christ’s ascension to Heaven was one of the most important events to the early Christian Church. This is evidenced by many 5th and 6th century paintings. Many of these paintings showed literal images of Jesus Christ rising to Heaven, but many other images included symbolism. One of the most popular images portrays a lion defeating a dragon. Many Christian scholars and art history experts believe that the lion represents Jesus Christ and the dragon represents Satan. Many Christians enjoy viewing this kind of art on Ascension Day.

Celebrations

Ascension Day is widely celebrated across Indonesia. The scale of Ascension Day celebrations in each Indonesian city depends on the size of nearby Christian communities. Many Indonesian Christians celebrate Ascension Day in the same manner as Europeans.

  • Church Service

    Attending a Christian Church service is one of the most common ways to celebrate Ascension Day of Jesus Christ in Indonesia. The details of these services can vary greatly depending on whether a church is Protestant or Catholic. In general, Ascension Day services are positive and uplifting. These services may include hymns, prayers, and discussions about the ascension of Jesus Christ. Common topics of discussion include the Apostle’s Creed and various sections of the Bible. Readings of the Bible on Ascension Day often come from Luke and Ephesians.

  • Fasting

    Beginning on the Monday prior to Ascension Day, many Indonesian Christians will participate in a ritual of fasting. Fasting is often combined with prayer as a means of testing a Christian’s willpower and ability to resist temptations. During a fasting period, Christians must avoid food and sin. This a very spiritual process that many Christians take seriously.

  • Feast

    Since many Christian holidays are oriented around the consumption of food, it should come as no surprise that many Indonesians celebrate Ascension with a large feast. The Feast consists of various local cuisines. Since the holiday occurs during late spring, many people enjoy fresh agricultural produce and local meat during the Ascension Day Feast. Indonesian spring rolls and vegetable salads can often be found on an Ascension feast platter. It is a traditional practice to begin the Feast with a prayer that honors Jesus Christ. During the feast, Indonesians will enjoy the company of their friends and family members.

  • Putting Out the Easter Candle

    Many Indonesian families that celebrate will light a candle on Easter. Since Ascension Day is the conclusion of the Easter holidays, families will extinguish their candles when Ascension Day ends. This represents the end of Ascension Day, but it also represents Jesus Christ’s departure from Earth. The Easter candle is known as the Paschal Candle. It is a tall white candle that rests on a stand made of wood or iron.

Places to Celebrate

Ascension Day celebrations can be found across Indonesia within Christian homes and churches. The Ascension Day of Jesus Christ celebrations are quite noticeable in the city of Jakarta.

The Ascension Day of Jesus Christ, or Kenaikan Isa Almasih, is a Indonesian public holiday that honors Christians and Jesus Christ’s ascension to Heaven.