Ascension Day is a holiday in French Guiana to commemorate Jesus Christ’s ascension to heaven as recorded in the Bible. It is observed on the fortieth day of Easter – 39 days after Easter Sunday – and always fall on a Thursday.
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Ascension Day is a public holiday in France, which means it automatically must be one also in French Guiana since it is an overseas department of France.
The traditional religious and historic significance of Ascension Day is much greater than might seem from the low-key nature of the holiday itself these days. The Bible records this day as when Jesus rose up into the heavens to sit on the right hand of God and the day when he gave his final instructions to his disciples in the Great Commission.
In France and its territories today, it is little more than a long weekend to most. Students especially look forward to the four-day, or sometimes five-day, weekend off school at this time of year. Shops may shut down, and workers take a much-needed break. The devout may head to mass on Thursday to watch the Paschal candle be put out and hear messages and songs on the theme of the Ascension.