Ascension [noun] [de Hemelvaart, de Hemelvaarten; ‘hee-mul-vaart’]

Hemelvaart is composed of "hemel" and "vaart", which respectively translate to "heaven" and "trip". "Hemelvaart" is a national (Christian) holiday in the Netherlands. Not many Dutch will still know that "Hemelvaart" is about Jesus returning to heaven permanently…

"Hemelvaart" always is a Thursday. A  lot of Dutch companies and institutions are also closed on the Friday after "Hemelvaart". Sometimes employees have to take mandatory leave of one day (on that Friday).

Ten days after "Hemelvaart" comes "Pinksteren": Pentecost. The second day of Pentecost, "Tweede Pinksterdag", is always a Monday, and is also a national Dutch holiday.

Since "Hemelvaart" and "Pinksteren" are not too far apart, a lot of the Dutch take leave in between. This holiday period is often referred to as the "HePi-vakantie". You may figure out for yourself what "HePi" stands for 🙂

– "Heb jij ook vrijdag vrij na Hemelvaart?"
("Do you also have a day off on the Friday after Ascension?")

– "Hebben jullie speciale plannen voor de HePi-vakantie?"
("Do you have special plans for the HePi-holiday period?")

Related words:
– "Hemelvaartsdag": Ascension day.

One thought on “Hemelvaart

  1. Dear all,
    I’ve been living in Gouda for 5 years and I still have a lot to learn in Dutch. I find this website a precious jewel online. Thanks guys for this excelent job.

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