Key Dates and Events
(6th of January)
Theophany commemorates the birth of Jesus as well as his baptism by John the Baptist. The event is one of twelve feast days, which are celebrated with a church service filled with hymns.
Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)
(7th of January)
Christmas is a Christian holiday that commemorates the birth of Jesus, who Christians believe is the son of God. The nativity of Jesus is considered to be one of the most important dates for Christians. A special Mass or church service is held in various churches throughout the world. Christians from different cultures celebrate Christmas Day in different ways.
In the Eastern tradition, it is common to celebrate the event on Christmas Eve. Catholic and Protestant traditions typically set the date of Jesus according to the Gregorian calendar (25th of December) while Eastern Catholic Churches and Eastern Churches calculate the date according to the Julian calendar (7th of January). Eastern Catholic and calculate the date according to the Julian calendar (7th of January). The event is one of twelve feast days.
Orthodox New Year
(14th of January)
New Year, also known as the Old New Year, is a Christian event that marks the beginning of a new year according to the Julian calendar. It is a time for people to reflect on the previous year and consider meaningful resolutions for the coming year. Some churches may host a gala dinner to raise funds for charitable causes or church restoration projects.
Presentation of the Lord (Candlemas)
(2nd of February)
The Presentation of the Lord is a Christian event that commemorates the occasion when the Virgin Mary went to the Temple in Jerusalem to be purified after giving birth to Jesus and to present him to God. The event is one of twelve feast days, which are celebrated with a church service filled with hymns and sometimes involve strict fasting.
(40 days prior to Easter)
Lent is a Christian event that takes place 40 days before Easter. The event usually begins on Ash Wednesday depending on the denomination of the tradition. Lent is meant to be a time of reflection and preparation before Easter. The event lasts 40 days to replicate Jesus’ sacrifice and withdrawal into the desert for 40 days. Common activities during Lent include fasting, prayer, penance and contemplation. The last week of Lent is known as Holy Week.
(The first day of Lent. Typically in February or March)
Ash Wednesday is a Christian event that marks the beginning of the Lent season. The event is marked as a day of penitence or repentance for one’s past wrongdoings. Attending church services is common on this day, and some priests will mark individuals with blessed ashes on their forehead. There are variations in the way the event is commemorated depending on the culture and Christian denomination. For instance, the concept of Ash Wednesday, as the first day of Lent, is observed on a Monday in many traditions. Thus, the event is known as Ash Monday, Clean Monday or Green Monday.
Annunciation to the Theotokos
(25th of March)
The Annunciation to the Theotokos (also known as the Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord) is a Christian holiday that commemorates Angel Gabriel’s appearance and announcement to the Virgin Mary that she had been chosen to birth Jesus. The event also honours Mary’s willingness to accept the news. The date of the Annunciation of the Lord is the 25th of March – exactly nine months before the birth of Jesus. However, the date of the feast changes if it coincides with Lent, any time during Holy Week, or any time in the octave of Easter. The event is one of twelve feast days, which are celebrated with a church service filled with hymns and may include strict fasting.
(The Sunday before Easter Sunday)
Palm Sunday is a Christian holiday that marks the beginning of Holy Week. Church services may spend this time reflecting on Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. It is also a time that many remember Jesus’ suffering leading up to this crucifixion. In some parts of the world, palms or other plant branches are distributed to the congregation.
(The Friday before Easter Sunday)
Good Friday is a Christian holiday during the sombre event of Holy Week. The date commemorates the crucifixion and death of Jesus. Some places refer to the day as Great Friday, Black Friday, Long Friday or Sorrowful Friday. It is a sombre time of reflection and prayer. Many Christian denominations hold church services around midday to acknowledge the hours when Jesus hung on the cross. Some churches may reenact different events of this time, such as the procession of the cross.
Pascha (Easter Sunday)
(Varies each year, typically in late March - late April)
Pascha (Easter Sunday) is a Christian holiday during the solemn event of Holy Week. Eastern Catholic and calculate the date according to the Julian calendar. The date commemorates the resurrection of Jesus from death by crucifixion. Throughout Holy Week, especially Easter Sunday, attention is focused on the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ final days. The liturgies and ceremonies held throughout the week often attract some of the biggest attendance in the year. It is considered to be a day of joy and celebration to honour the rising of Jesus Christ from the dead.
(39 days after Easter Sunday)
Ascension is a Christian holiday that marks Jesus’ departure from earth into heaven after his resurrection. It is one of the earliest observed celebrations in Christianity. Ascension also marks the end of the Easter period.
(The 7th Sunday after Easter)
The Feast of Pentecost is a Christian holiday that commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples of Jesus. At this time, the apostles received the “gift of tongues”, the ability to speak in another language. In many parts of the world, Pentecost has become a common day for baptisms to occur. Many churches celebrate Pentecost with a mass or worship service. Many churches celebrate Pentecost with a mass or worship service. Pentecost is also known as Whitsunday or Whit Sunday in different Christian traditions.
(6th of August)
The Transfiguration of Jesus is a Christian holiday that commemorates the event recorded in the New Testament when Jesus took three of his disciples (Peter, James and John) up on a mountain and transfigured into a glorious brightness. The event is one of twelve feast days, which are celebrated with a church service filled with hymns and, for some feasts, strict fasting.
Dormition of the Theotokos
(Typically 15th of August)
In Christian traditions, the Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos is dedicated to the death and burial of Virgin Mary. The date is regarded as the principal feast day of the Virgin Mother and one of twelve feast days, which are celebrated with a church service filled with hymns and, for some feasts, strict fasting.
Nativity of Theotokos
(8th of September)
The Nativity of Theotokos (Virgin Mary) is a Christian event that commemorates the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The event is one of twelve feast days.
Exaltation of the Cross
(Typically 14th of September)
The Exaltation of the Cross is a Christian event that commemorates both the finding of the true cross on which Jesus was crucified and its recovery from the Persians three hundred years later. The event is one of twelve feast days, which are celebrated with a church service filled with hymns and, for some feasts, strict fasting.
All Saints’ Day
(1st of November)
All Saints’ Day, also known as All Hallows’ Day, is a Christian holiday that celebrates all Christian saints, particularly those who have no special feast days. Saints are those women and men recognised for their lives of devotion to God or who were for their faith. It is typically celebrated on the 1st of November in Western churches, whilst Eastern churches usually celebrate it on the first Sunday after Pentecost. In some parts of the world. All Saints’ Day is a day to pay respect to one’s deceased relatives.
First Sunday of Advent
(Date varies each year, typically last week of November to first week of December)
The First Sunday of Advent is a Christian holiday that marks the beginning of the Christian year in Western Christianity. The length of Advent varies from 22 to 28 days depending on the Christian tradition. The end of Advent is Christmas. Preparation for Christmas is an important theme for Advent. The time was originally dedicated to reflection and preparation for Christmas.
Presentation of Theotokos
(21st of November)
The Presentation of Theotokos (Virgin Mary) is a Christian holiday that commemorates when Mary’s parents (Anne and Joachim) received the heavenly message that they would have a child. In thanksgiving, they brought their daughter to the Temple in Jerusalem to present her to God. The event is one of twelve feast days, which are celebrated with a church service filled with hymns and, for some feasts, strict fasting.
Each day in Eastern celebrates a particular saint or several saints. People will celebrate saint days depending on the relevance of the saint to the person. For example, people often observe their saint’s ‘name day’ as a big feast. This name is usually the name given to the child on their baptism.
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