Christian holidays and festivals that mark Jesus Christ’s birthday around the world include Christmas Day – his anniversary of birth – which serves as an opportunity for families and communities to show love and devotion to one another.
Holy Week serves to remind Christians of Jesus’s life, loves, and death. Christianity evolved out of two prior calendars – Jewish and Roman – with fixed dates being set by Roman solar calendar and moveable ones by Jewish lunar calendar.
Christmas is the holiday celebration for Christians that marks the birthday of Jesus Christ and commemorates his sacrifice of dying for human sins and then rising again after three days to offer us eternal life – an idea central to Christianity.
Scholars have speculated that Christ was born around December 25. This date likely corresponds to the winter solstice festival in ancient Rome that took place near this date; during Christmas celebrations in the fourth century AD, Christians took up some of these old traditions such as gifts and feasting with gifts (enjoying games of online poker on any of the platforms described on the https://centiment.io) that came with this event as well as decorating homes with mistletoe.
Other major Christian festivals include the Feast of Annunciation on 25 March, which marks angel Gabriel’s announcement to Mary that she would give birth to Jesus. Catholic, Anglican and Lutheran calendars typically shift this feast day if it interferes with Holy Week or Easter; Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodox Church and other churches do not change it accordingly.
On December 8, we celebrate the Virgin Mary’s conception without original sin on 8 December as part of her Immaculate Conception Feast Day and take public holidays across many nations to mark it. Other holiday seasons during Christmas season include St. Stephen Day on Christmas Eve (or Christmas Eve itself) on December 26 and Epiphany on January 6 (the revelation that Jesus is God’s son as well as the visit by Wise Men). Furthermore, Alpine countries often have Krampus who punishes bad children before St Nicholas’ feast day!
Millions of Christians around the globe celebrate Easter as one of their most significant annual holidays, commemorating Jesus’ Resurrection three days post-crucifixion and God’s promise of eternal life for those who trust in Him. Additionally, Easter marks the conclusion of Lent – an extended period of prayer and fasting which lasts 40 days before Easter Sunday arrives.
Holy Week marks the week leading up to Easter and features three key celebrations: Palm Sunday (which commemorates Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem), Maundy Thursday (when Christians commemorate Jesus’ Last Supper with His Disciples and their instructions on Passover observance), and Good Friday. Christians must commemorate Holy Week events as integral parts of Christian story-telling.
Additionally, Christians also celebrate other celebrations and feasts throughout the year, such as January 6 – Epiphany in Orthodoxy Christianity to mark when Three Wise Men arrived at Bethlehem and recognized baby Jesus as divine.
Easter derives its name from Latin term eostarum, believed to have come from an Anglo-Saxon goddess of fertility and dawn named Eostre. Saint Bede, an Anglo-Saxon historian from the seventh century AD, wrote that later it evolved as a combination of Old English words hebdomada alba – meaning ‘week of white garments’- and hldnes – meaning shelter or protection – that became common across European languages and cultures as its name spread further. Easter Day typically falls on or between March 22 and April 25.
Holy Week or Pascha in Greek and Good Friday in English marks an extremely meaningful period in Christianity’s history: commemorating Jesus’ death and resurrection through commemorative services across churches worldwide. Christians across denominations observe Holy Week or Pascha as they commemorate his last days leading up to his crucifixion and death on Good Friday of each year, remembering how Jesus changed their world by dying on that cross for us all.
Start out your Holy Week right with Palm Sunday when Christians bring palm branches to church in a ceremony to recall Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem on a donkey (Luke 19:35). Maundy Thursday commemorates Jesus’ final meal shared with His disciples; on this day He also washed their feet as an act of servant leadership and humility, instituted Communion as well as agreeing with Judas Iscariot to betray Him for thirty pieces of silver.
Passion or Good Friday commemorates the day when Jesus was arrested, brought before Pontius Pilate for trial, found guilty and then executed on a cross. His sacrifice symbolized humanity’s sins being laid upon Him for our benefit.
Resurrection Sunday marks the women’s return to visit his tomb and find it empty, signalling his resurrection and ending Holy Week which started with Ash Wednesday and ended on Pentecost (the longest season in Christianity’s calendar). Church bells ring and joyful songs echo around as churchgoers sing praise songs to God while pastors or priests proclaim, “He Is Risen!” Congregations responds in unison: “He Is Risen Indeed!” This marks the end of Holy Week that lasts seven days long from Ash Wednesday until Pentecost (making this week the longest season).
The Ascension of Jesus Day marks a holiday on the Christian calendar which commemorates 39 days after Easter when, according to scripture, Jesus rose into heaven. This event marks one of Christianity’s most significant days as it signifies that Jesus has completed his mission on Earth and been exalted to heaven as king over all creation. Additionally, this date signifies that soon thereafter his followers will receive Holy Spirit guidance in their journey toward eternal life and salvation.
Churches worldwide observe Christ’s Ascension by holding special masses or Feast of His Ascension; although not as widely observed as Christmas or Easter, its significance still holds great weight with Christians everywhere.
Before ascending into heaven, Jesus instructed his disciples to spread the message of God throughout the entire world. Jesus alone could save humanity from sin, death and hell – His ascension proved this fact and showed his followers he had completed this mission successfully – commanding them to continue his work after him.
Other Christian holidays observed annually include Baptism of the Lord on February 2 and All Saints’ Day on November 2. All Saints’ Day honors those who have passed on, while All Souls’ Day remembers those who have died but have yet to enter Heaven – an especially important commemoration for those of Protestant Christianity since it marks when Martin Luther nailed his “Ninety-five Theses” onto a church door in Wittenberg to mark its beginning and thus Protestantism itself.
Pentecost marks the birth of Christianity and is celebrated through special church services, hymns and prayers on this special day. On this occasion, the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus’ disciples on that particular day and empowered them to spread his teachings. Baptisms also occur at this time.
Like many Christian holidays, this one has roots in Judaism. Also known as Shavuot or Festival of Weeks, this feast celebrated the giving of the Torah to Moses on Mount Sinai and is held seven weeks post-Passover (or 49 days plus one).
Early Church leaders recognized a correlation between Feast of Weeks and the coming of Holy Spirit upon apostles, and its celebration. Thus it has become an important festival to all Christian traditions that follow a liturgical calendar; for instance in Western Church it’s also called Whit Sunday or Whitsunday, marking an important celebration among all Christians; most church services take place this day, it marks a popular baptism day, as well as marking Ordinary Time-the rest of this year’s church calendar-beginning with baptisms being an annual ritual!
There are other significant Christian festivals and holidays, such as Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Day), Corpus Christi. Although these celebrations tend to be more somber than Christmas, Easter, Pentecost etc, they all play an essential part of Christianity by providing a full calendar of events commemorating Jesus Christ’s life and death.