Ascension Day in Sweden is celebrated on the sixth Thursday after Easter according to the ecclesiastical calendar. This day is always observed on a Thursday and is a red day, which means an official holiday in the country.
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In Sweden, the observation of Ascension Day occurs each year and is something that dates back hundreds of years. While the date varies based on when Easter falls, Ascension Day is always either after or on 1 May and before 4 June. During the Middle Ages, many people often performed dramas and participated in Ascension games. The reason behind this was to portray the physical action of Christ leaving Earth.
On Easter, churches in Sweden lights a large candle, which is the symbol of the triumph of life over death. When Ascension Day arrives, the candle is extinguished, which symbolises Jesus leaving the world.
The religious celebration associated with Ascension Day is a church service and picnic that occurs at dawn. The goal is to allow everyone to hear the first birds of spring sing. However, the actual time that services typically occur is around 7:30 AM. If the birds sound from the east or the west, it signifies good tidings; however, if they come from the north or south it “bodes ill,” according to tradition.
In central and southern Sweden, it is tradition that the fish would not bite before Ascension Day, which resulted in the holiday also being referred to as “forste metaredan,” or the first angling day. It also marks the start of the fishing season. It is important to go fishing on this day because the initial luck you have determines how much luck you are going to have during the entire season.