Just the facts on religion.

Christian Holidays

The most important Christian holiday is Easter, a spring holiday that celebrates Christ's resurrection from the dead.

Easter is immediately preceded by Holy Week, which includes Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, and Good Friday. The 40 days prior to Easter form the Lenten season, a time of fasting and repentance.

Another holiday that has become important is Christmas, which commemorates the birth of Jesus on December 25 (January 6 in Orthodox Churches).

Saints' days are also important to most Christian denominations. Some of these, such as St. Patrick's Day and St. Valentine's Day, have come to play a prominent role in popular western culture.

  • Advent

    The season of Advent (adventus, "coming") marks the beginning of the church year and the approach of Christmas. full article →
  • All Saints Day

    All Saints' Day is a holiday honoring all Christian saints. In Western Christianity, All Saints' Day begins at sundown on October 31 (Halloween) and finishes at sundown on November 1 (All Saints' Day)... full article →
  • Ash Wednesday

    The first day of Lent, a period of fasting that leads up to Easter. Its central ritual is placing of ashes on the forehead. full article →
  • Boxing Day

    Celebrated in Great Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, this was when servants and the poor were traditionally given gifts. full article →
  • Christmas

    Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus. The English word "Christmas" derives from the old English Christes maesse, or "Christ's mass." full article →
  • Easter

    Easter is the spring festival that celebrates the resurrection of Christ. It is the oldest Christian holiday and the most important day of the church year. full article →
  • Epiphany

    The celebration of Epiphany (epiphaneia, "manifestation") recalls the visit of the Magi, symbolizing Christ's manifestation to Gentiles. full article →
  • Good Friday

    Good Friday is the Friday before Easter Sunday. It is a solemn holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. full article →
  • History of Christian Holidays

    Holidays have been a part of Christianity from the beginning, with Easter being the oldest. full article →
  • Lent

    Lent is a 40-day period of fasting and repentance in preparation for Easter. full article →
  • Lord's Day (Sunday)

    In Christianity, the day of the week devoted to rest and worship is Sunday, or the "Lord's Day." full article →
  • Mardi Gras

    Celebrated on the last day before Lent, this is a day to enjoy one last feast before the 40-day fast. full article →
  • Palm Sunday

    Palm Sunday is the sixth Sunday of Lent and the last Sunday before Easter. It commemorates the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. full article →
  • St. Andrew's Day

    St. Andrew's Day marks the martyrdom of the apostle Andrew, brother to Saint Peter, and is especially associated with Scottish identity. full article →
  • St. Patrick's Day

    The Catholic feast day that honors St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, is celebrated worldwide by the Irish, those of Irish descent, or "Irish for a day." full article →
  • Thanksgiving

    Thanksgiving celebrates a shared meal between Christian Pilgrims and Native Americans in 1621. It is not a religious holiday, but has an interesting, semi-religious history. full article →
  • Twelfth Night

    Made famous by the Shakespearean play, Twelfth Night marks the end of the Christmas season. full article →
  • Valentine's Day

    Valentine's Day is a celebration of romantic love. Although associated with a saint, modern Valentine's Day is a non-religious holiday. full article →