There are many Christian festivals celebrated by Christians around the world. Some of the most significant Christian festivals include:
Advent Sunday is the first day of the Advent season, which is a period of four weeks leading up to Christmas. It usually falls on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day, which means that the date of Advent Sunday can vary from year to year.
During Advent, Christians prepare for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. This preparation involves a time of reflection, penitence, and prayer. Advent Sunday marks the beginning of this period of spiritual preparation.
All Saints’ Day
The early followers of Jesus were called saints or ‘holy ones’. Later in the first century, a Saint (with a capital S) was a great man or woman of the past who was formally recognized by the church as having lived a virtuous life of faith and who can be an inspiration to people today.
All Saints’ Day is a Christian festival celebrated on November 1st. It is a day on which Christians honor all the saints, known and unknown, who have passed away and are believed to be with God in heaven. It is a time to remember and celebrate the lives of those who have lived holy and faithful lives, and who are now believed to be in the presence of God.
Ascension Day is a Christian festival that commemorates the ascension of Jesus Christ into heaven. According to Christian tradition, Jesus Christ was taken up into heaven 40 days after his resurrection. Ascension Day is celebrated on the 40th day after Easter Sunday, which means that the date of the festival can vary from year to year.
The ascension of Jesus Christ is an important event in Christian theology, as it is seen as the fulfillment of the promise that Jesus made to his disciples that he would be with them always, even after his physical departure from the world. It is also seen as a prelude to the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, which is celebrated 10 days after Ascension Day.
The 25th of December is the time when Western Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus who Christians believe to be both the Messiah (or in Greek: the Christ) and son of God (that is, divine). Eastern Orthodox Christians celebrate the birth on the 7th January.
Jesus’ birth or ‘nativity’ is described in the Bible, in the New Testament Gospels of Matthew and Luke. There is disagreement among Christians about the status of the accounts, with some regarding them as describing theological truths but not historical ones. The Gospels do not mention the date of Jesus’ birth which was set by Pope Julius in the 4th century CE in order to Christianise the Pagan celebrations that took place at that time of year.
Easter Day is a Christian holiday that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. It is the most important Christian holiday and is celebrated on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox (around March or April).
Easter Day or Easter Sunday commemorates the resurrection of Jesus as the Christ (God’s Anointed) after his death the Friday before (see Good Friday). His disciples began to experience Christ being with them in a new way. Easter eggs are given which symbolize the new life that Christians experience and see at the heart of God’s world.
Epiphany is a Christian festival that celebrates the revelation of Jesus Christ as the Son of God to the world. The festival is observed annually on January 6th and is also known as the Feast of the Epiphany, Twelfth Night, or Three Kings’ Day.
The word “epiphany” comes from the Greek word “epiphaneia,” which means “manifestation” or “appearance.” In the Christian context, it refers to the manifestation of Jesus Christ as the Son of God to the Gentiles, represented by the visit of the Magi or Wise Men to the infant Jesus in Bethlehem.
Good Friday is a Christian holiday that commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, which is one of the most significant events in Christian theology. It is observed on the Friday before Easter and is a solemn and reflective day for Christians around the world.
On Good Friday, Christians typically participate in solemn church services that recount the events leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion and death and reflect on the significance of this event. Many churches also hold processions, reenactments, or other symbolic acts of remembrance and devotion.
Good Friday is an important holiday for Christians, as it commemorates the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and the promise of salvation that it represents. It is a day for reflection, solemnity, and devotion, and serves as a reminder of the profound significance of the Christian faith.
Lent and Ash Wednesday
Lent is a season of reflection and preparation in the Christian calendar that leads up to Easter. It is observed by many Christian denominations, including Catholics, Anglicans, and Lutherans, among others. Lent is a period of 40 days, excluding Sundays, and begins with Ash Wednesday.
Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent and is marked by the imposition of ashes on the foreheads of participants in the shape of a cross. The ashes are typically made from the burned palm branches used in the previous year’s Palm Sunday celebration. The imposition of ashes is accompanied by the words, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust, you shall return,” which is a reminder of the temporary nature of human life and the need for repentance and renewal.
Mothering Sunday is a Christian holiday that is celebrated on the fourth Sunday in Lent. It is also known as “Mother’s Day” in some countries, although it is not the same as the secular holiday of the same name.
Mothering Sunday has its roots in the Christian tradition of visiting one’s “mother church” on the Sunday in the middle of Lent. In the early days of Christianity, many people were baptized as infants in a church away from their homes and were only able to visit their home church once a year. This visit typically occurred on the fourth Sunday in Lent and became known as “Mothering Sunday” because it was a time when families could reunite and give thanks for their blessings, including their mothers and their faith.
Pentecost or Whit Sunday
Pentecost, also known as Whit Sunday, is a Christian holiday that is celebrated on the seventh Sunday after Easter. It commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit on the apostles and other followers of Jesus Christ, as described in the New Testament of the Bible.
According to the Bible, the events of Pentecost took place shortly after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The apostles and other disciples were gathered together in a room in Jerusalem when they suddenly heard a sound like a rushing wind. Tongues of fire appeared above their heads, and they were filled with the Holy Spirit. They then began speaking in different languages and were able to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ to people from all over the world who were gathered in Jerusalem for the Jewish festival of Shavuot.
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is an annual event celebrated from January 18 to January 25. It is a time when Christians of different denominations come together to pray for unity and to celebrate their common faith.
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity has its roots in the ecumenical movement, which began in the early 20th century and aimed to promote greater cooperation and understanding between different Christian churches and traditions. The event was first observed in 1908 and has since become a worldwide tradition, with Christians from many different countries and cultures participating.