Christian Holidays, Festivals & Holy Days



Holidays, feasts and fasts are a significant part of Christian religious practice. The feast days celebrate joyous historical events, such as the birth and resurrection of Christ, while the fast days provide a special opportunity to focus on self-reflection, self-discipline, and repentance. Some Christian holidays have come to have a considerable impact on western culture and traditions.

Brief History
Holidays have been a part of Christianity from the beginning, with Easter being the oldest.
Image courtesy of Methodist Church in Singapore
Lent
Lent is a 40-day period of fasting and repentance in preparation for Easter.
Advent
The season of Advent (adventus, "coming") marks the beginning of the church year and the approach of Christmas.
Mardi Gras
Celebrated on the last day before Lent, this is a day to enjoy one last feast before the 40-day fast.
apostle peter
All Saints' Day
Celebrating on the day after Halloween, the sacred day recalls the lives' of Christian saints.
Palm Sunday
Palm Sunday is the sixth Sunday of Lent and the last Sunday before Easter. It commemorates the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.
Virgin Mary - Diego Velazquez.jpg Assumption Day
Assumption Day celebrates the Roman Catholic belief of Mary's transfer into heaven
Martin Luther by Cranach-restoration.tif Reformation Day
Reformation Day celebrates the Protestant Reformation.




Ash Wednesday
The first day of Lent, a period of fasting that leads up to Easter. Its central ritual is placing of ashes on the forehead.
St. Andrew's Day
St. Andrew's Day marks the martyrdom of the apostle Andrew, brother to Saint Peter, and is especially associated with Scottish identity.
Boxing Day
Celebrated in Great Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, this was when servants and the poor were traditionally given gifts.
St. Patrick's Day
The Catholic feast day that honors St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, is celebrated worldwide by the Irish, those of Irish descent, or "Irish for a day."
Christmas
The celebration of the birth of Jesus. The English word "Christmas" derives from the old English Christes maesse, or "Christ's mass."
Sunday
In Christianity, the day of the week devoted to rest and worship is Sunday, or the "Lord's Day."
Easter
Easter is a spring festival that celebrates the resurrection of Christ. It is the oldest Christian holiday and the most important day of the church year.
Thanksgiving
Celebrates a shared meal between Christian Pilgrims and Native Americans. It is not a religious holiday, but has an interesting, semi-religious history.
Epiphany
The celebration of Epiphany (epiphaneia, "manifestation") recalls the visit of the Magi, symbolizing Christ's manifestation to Gentiles.
Twelfth Night
Made famous by the Shakespearean play, this marks the end of the Christmas season.
good friday
Good Friday
Good Friday is the annual Christian remembrance of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
Valentine's Day
Valentine's Day is a celebration of romantic love. Although associated with a saint, modern Valentine's Day is a non-religious holiday.
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