Herrentag, Father’s Day, Ascension Day in Germany

This Thursday is a public holiday in Germany to celebrate Ascension Day and Father’s Day. How will Berliner’s be celebrating? What will you be doing this long weekend?


Christians all over the world celebrate Ascension Day. It commemorates Jesus’ ascension into heaven 39 days after Easter Sunday.

In Germany, Ascension Day is known as Christi Himmelfahrt–literally Christ’s (Christi) journey (fahrt) into heaven (Himmel). Christi Himmelfahrt is a public holiday and always falls on a Thursday.

Going back to the 16th century, people prayed in the fields on Ascension Day for a fruitful harvest. After these prayers, they celebrated by eating and drinking beer and mead. By the 18th century, the tradition evolved to men being taken to the town centre in carts. The mayor awarded prizes to the man who had fathered the most children. At Archer Relocation, we are curious as to what prize the women received!? 🙂

A century later, as the religious aspects of Ascension Day decreased, men began spending the day with male friends, hiking, picnicking, and drinking.


In the early 20th century when Mother’s Day was introduced, males in Germany claimed Ascension Day as their own, naming it Herrentag (Men’s Day) or Vatertag (Father’s Day).

On this day, many men throughout Germany celebrate Herrentag with their children, perhaps receiving presents and breakfast in bed, Men who are not fathers also take this holiday to celebrate. They gather with male friends to drink, hike, picnic, and party.


There are numerous activities to enjoy in Berlin on this public holiday. Celebrating with your family? Visit one of the many parks scattered around Berlin, where you can bike, stroll, run, picnic, and enjoy the sunshine. We suggest the beautiful and expansive Tiergarten, the gardens of Schloss Charlottenburg, or the historic Tempelhoferfeld at the decommissioned Tempelhof airport, perfect for cycling and kite flying.

Feeling particularly energetic? Consider one of the climbing and high ropes courses. Depending on the weather, there are outdoor and indoor options. For outdoors, check out Waldhochseilgarten Jungfernheide or Climb Up! Kletterwalder. For indoor climbing, explore South Rock, Berlin or challenge yourself on the  eighteen metre high tower at Der Kugel.

Do you prefer water celebrations? Take a trip down the River Spree or hire a rowboat on a lake. Or explore one of the many thermal baths or sauna places within the city and the greater Berlin area.


If brunch is your thing, you could also visit your preferred café or restaurant or explore outside your Kiez (neighbourhood) to discover a new favourite. We suggest you make a reservation at the more popular venues.

If celebrating with friends, you could check out the numerous Biergartens (beer gardens) such as Café am Neuen See in Tiergarten or Zollpackhof Biergarten right on the Spree River in Mitte. Or sample a Craft Beer from one of the local breweries, such as BRLO Brewhouse at Gleisdreieck Park.

(Remember it is a public holiday this Thursday, so most shops, institutions and businesses will be shut!)

Wishing you a very happy Ascension Day and Father’s Day–however you choose to spend it.

How will you celebrate?


Archer Relocation has been providing relocation services to families, individuals and companies in Berlin since early 2015.  Managing Director, Emily Archer, founded the company desiring to use her first-hand experience as an expat to make the relocation process as smooth as possible for others moving to Berlin.  Read other useful information about moving to and living in Berlin, such as ‘How to Find a Berlin Apartment’, on our Berlin Blog.  

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