Christian Festivals & Holy Days
Advent: time of preparation for observing the birth of Jesus. Advent begins on the
Sunday nearest November 30 and is the beginning of the Christian worship year. It is
observed with the lighting of advent candles, display of advent wreaths, and special
ceremonies. The season continues to the end of December 24.
All Hallow’s Eve: celebration as a prelude to All Saints Day.
All Saints’ Day: day for honouring saints and a Holy Day of Obligation in the Roman
Catholic Church where saints have special formal status.
All Souls’ Day
: sometimes called the "Day of the Dead", this is always
November 2nd (celebrated on November 3rd if the 2nd is a Sunday). A Roman Catholic
day of remembrance for remembering friends and loved ones who have passed away.
Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary:
celebration on 25th March of the visit
by the Angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary announcing the coming birth of Jesus.
Ascension of Jesus: Celebrates the ascension of Jesus into heaven, where Christians
believe he sits at the right hand of God the Father and prays for the world. Ascension
Day is a reminder to Christians that Jesus took his humanity into heaven. The festival
marks the end of Jesus' post-resurrection appearance and is perhaps the earliest
observed celebration in Christianity.
Ash Wednesday: The day Lent begins, forty days before Good Friday. It is a day of
penitence to clean the soul before the Lent fast. Roman Catholic, Anglican, and some
other churches hold services at which worshippers are marked with ashes as a symbol
of death, and sorrow for sin. The use of ashes, made by burning palm crosses from the
previous Palm Sunday, is very symbolic.
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary: Roman Catholic observance honouring
the belief that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was taken directly to heaven at her death.
Candlemas: This festival takes place 40 days after Christmas and comes from two
separate events- the presentation of Jesus in the temple