Despite being raised Catholic, I don’t remember ever celebrating Ascension, the day when Jesus Christ ascended into Heaven, which falls on the 39th day after Easter Sunday (May 14 this year). Yet it’s one of the oldest ecumenical holidays, as it has been celebrated since 68 CE. And the folklore that surrounds it seems even more ancient.
In Armenia, Ascension is a time for girls to tell their fortunes from tokens thrown into a bowl of water drawn from seven springs. All brooks and springs are said to be filled with healing power at midnight. If you don’t want to visit your local body of water at midnight, you might just put out a container and hope it rains since any water that falls from the skies on this day can also heal. Apparently this is because the earth is open to heaven on this day to allow for Christ to ascend. Continue reading