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Christian Religious Holidays

Name of holiday Description Date Day
Circumcision Marks the day when Jesus was circumcised. 1-January Sunday
Festival of St Basil the Great St Basil is one of the great fathers of the Orthodox Church. 1-January Sunday
Christmas Day (Armenian Orthodox) Armenian Christians celebrate Christ's birth at Epiphany, except for Armenians in the Holy Land, who celebrate Christmas on January 19th. 6-January Friday
Theophany Orthodox churches mark the baptism of Jesus on this day. 6-January Friday
Epiphany Celebrates the visit of the wise men (the magi) to the infant Jesus. It is also a Catholic holiday celebrating the baptism of Christ in the Jordan River by John the Baptist. Also known as Dia de los Reyes (Three Kings Day). 6-January Friday
Christmas Day (Orthodox) Most Orthodox churches use the Julian rather than the Gregorian version of the Western calendar. As a result, they celebrate Christmas 13 days later than other Christian churches. 7-January Saturday
St Hilary's Day According to tradition, "St. Hilary's is the coldest day of the year." St. Hilary was a fourth century Bishop of Poitiers. 13-January Friday
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (start) First celebrated in 1908. The days of 18-25 January (regardless of the days of the week involved) were originally chosen because they covered the days between the feast of St Peter and the feast of St Paul. Some churches and regions use a different week. 18-January Wednesday
St Agnes Patron saint of girls, martyred at the age of 13. 21-January Saturday
St Paul's Day Christians mark the conversion of St Paul. 25-January Wednesday
St Thomas Aquinas Doctor of the Church and patron saint of students and theologians. 28-January Saturday
Candlemas This is often called The Presentation of Christ in the Temple and commemorates the day Mary took Jesus to the Temple at Jerusalem to present him to God. Coincides with Groundhog Day (USA). 2-February Thursday
Our Lady of Lourdes Marks the day in 1858 when St Bernadette had her first vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary. 11 February Saturday
St Valentine's Day Now more a secular festival than a religious one. There are at least three different saints named Valentine. 14-February Tuesday
Shrove Tuesday Also called Pancake Day and Mardi Gras. The British name of "Pancake Day" comes from the tradition of making pancakes to use up all the food that could not be eaten during Lent. 28-February Tuesday
Ash Wednesday The first day of Lent for Western Christian churches. Lent is the season marking the time Jesus spent in the wilderness. 1-March Wednesday
St David's Day Saint David, or Dewi Sant as he's called in the Welsh language, is the patron saint of Wales. 1-March Wednesday
Clean Monday - Beginning of Lent (Orthodox) The start of the "Great Lent" for Orthodox Christians. This day is called Clean Monday, and occurs seven weeks before the Orthodox Easter 6-March Monday
St Patrick's Day St Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland. 17-March Friday
St Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary   19-March Sunday
Annunciation Marks the angel Gabriel's message to the Virgin Mary that she would give birth to the incarnation of Christ. It also celebrates the incarnation itself as the date falls 9 months before Christmas. 25-March Saturday
Mothering Sunday Mothering Sunday is the fourth Sunday of Lent. Not the same as Mothers' Day in the USA. 26-March Sunday
Palm Sunday The sixth and last Sunday of Lent. Marks the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem and the start of Holy Week. 9-April Sunday
Maundy Thursday Christians remember Maundy Thursday as the day of the Last Supper, when Jesus washed the feet of his disciples and established the ceremony known as the Eucharist. 13-April Thursday
Good Friday Good Friday is the Friday before Easter. It commemorates the execution of Jesus by crucifixion. 14-April Friday
Easter Sunday (Western) Christians celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ - his return from death after the Crucifixion. The most important Christian festival. Most years Orthodox Christians celebrate Easter on a different date. 16-April Sunday
Easter (Orthodox) Orthodox Christians celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ - his return from death after the Crucifixion. The most important Christian festival 23-April Sunday
St George's Day Saint George is the patron saint of England. 23-April Sunday
Ascension Day Ascension Day marks the last earthly appearance of Christ after his resurrection. Christians believe Christ ascended into heaven. It is celebrated 40 days after Easter. 25-May Thursday
Pentecost - Whitsun The seventh Sunday after Easter, commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples and the birth of the Christian Church. 4-June Sunday
Trinity Sunday The first Sunday after Pentecost. Christians meditate on the nature of God as "Three in one". 11-June Sunday
Corpus Christi Roman Catholic festival celebrating the "real presence of Christ in the Eucharist". The festival falls on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday. 15-June Thursday
All Saints Day (Orthodox) This day honours all saints, known and unknown, of the Christian church. Western churches celebrate All Saints Day on November 1. 18-June Sunday
St Peter's Day Observed by Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran churches. One of the oldest saints' days. 29-June Thursday
Transfiguration Orthodox Christian feast commemorating the sudden emanation of radiance from the person of Jesus that occurred on the mountain. 6-August Sunday
Dormition of the Theotokos An Orthodox festival that commemorates the death, resurrection, and glorification of Christ's mother. Dormition means "falling asleep". 15-August Tuesday
Nativity of the Theotokos Orthodox Christians celebrate the birth of the Virgin Mary 8-September Friday
St Edward's Day Edward the Confessor was King of England 1042 - 1066. He built Westminster Abbey where there is a shrine to him - and where the saint is also celebrated on January 5 each year, the anniversary of his death. 13-October Friday
All Hallows Eve (Halloween) The evening before All Saints' Day 31-October Tuesday
All Saints' Day This day honours all saints, known and unknown, of the Christian church. Orthodox churches celebrate All Saints' Day on the first Sunday after Pentecost. 1-November Wednesday
All Souls' Day This day remembers faithful Christians who are now dead. 2-November Thursday
St Andrew's Day Saint Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland, Greece and Russia. The flag of Scotland is the Cross of St. Andrew. St Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was originally a fisherman and became the first Apostle. 30-November Thursday
Advent Sunday The beginning of the ecclesiastical year on the Sunday closest to November 30. Advent is the season before Christmas - In Western Christendom, four Sundays are included. In Eastern Christendom, the season is longer and begins in the middle of November 3-December Sunday
Feast of the Immaculate Conception Celebrated by Roman Catholics who remember Mary's conception as being without sin, therefore, immaculate. 8-December Friday
Christmas Eve The day before Christmas Day 24-December Sunday
Christmas Day The day when Western Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. 25-December Monday

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