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Christianity - festivals and celebrations

Dates for your 2006 calendar

6 Epiphany
Celebrates the visit of the Three Wise Men (or Magi) to the infant Jesus Christ.

6/7 Christmas Eve/ Christmas Day
Eastern Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas on the 6th or 7th of January.

28 Shrove Tuesday
The day of preparation for Lent, which is marked by eating pancakes.

1 Ash Wednesday
The first day of Lent, the Penitential season for Christians. Many Christians receive a cross of ash on their forehead in church services on this day.  The cross of ash means mortality and penance.

1 Lent
The forty days (not Sundays) after Ash Wednesday until the day before Easter Sunday. This is a time of penance and fasting, it is to remember Jesus Christ's forty days of fasting in the wilderness.

1 St David's Day
The day to remember the patron saint of Wales.

17 St Patrick's Day
The day to remember the patron saint of Ireland.

9 Palm Sunday
Palm Sunday is the first day of Holy Week (Holy Week is the seven days leading up to Easter). Palm leaves are made into crosses; which are sometimes given to people.  The palm crosses help Christians to remember the way Jesus Christ was welcomed to Jerusalem a few days before he was crucified.

13 Maundy Thursday
Christians remember this as the day of the Last Supper, when Jesus celebrated the first Eucharist before he was betrayed by Judas. The world 'maundy' comes from the Latin verb to command (mandatum), and refers to Jesus's command that we should love one another. Inmany countries, this day is known as Holy Thursday.

14 Good Friday
The day to remember when Jesus Christ was crucified.  The day is known as Good Friday because Christians believe as Jesus Christ gave his life for us we are given the offer of new life and hope on Easter Sunday.

16 Easter Sunday/Pascha
Jesus Christ's resurrection from the dead. People celebrate this day by giving Easter eggs – the eggs mean new life. The Easter season is celebrated for fifty days, until Pentecost.

23 St George's Day
The day to remember the patron saint of England.

25 Ascension Day
This day to remember Jesus Christ's rising bodily into heaven after he appeared on Easter Day.

4 Pentecost or Whitsun
Pentecost is the time when the Holy Spirit came down to earth. It is sometimes called Whitsun, which means White Sunday.  It was called White Sunday because people who became Christians wore white for their baptism.

15 Corpus Christi
Catholic Christians celebrate the Eucharist; the Blessed Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ by honouring the real presence of the body and blood of Jesus.

15 The Blessed Virgin Mary Christians celebrate the life and dedication of Mary, the Mother of Jesus. Catholics traditionally celebrate this day as the Assumption of Mary, believing that at the end of her life on Earth, she entered heaven in body and soul.

Harvest Festival Celebrations
This has become a popular thanksgiving for the harvest.
International Day of Peace (Inter-Faiths)
This day was organised by the United Nations. This is a day for all faiths all over the world. It is celebrated or marked in different ways like a peace march, festivals or a moment of silence.

30 St Andrew's Day
A day to remember the patron saint of Scotland.

3 Advent
This begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve.  It is the time to prepare for Jesus Christ's birthday.

25 Christmas Day
A day to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ – many people exchange gifts at this time.


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