Religious Holidays: Quick Facts & Dates

By Saturday, July 3, 2021 0 0

Holiday celebrations are at the very centre of our families, communities and are a huge part of the fabric of modern society – as they have been for thousands of years. These events and festivals are a time for people to come together and rejoice, and the majority of holidays we celebrate today have religious roots. In many Western societies that are largely Christian, Christmas is often seen as being the biggest religion-led holiday, but you may not know about the holidays which are important to other faiths.

If you want to learn about dates which are marked for celebration in other people’s religious calendars, you are in the right place.

Christianity

Christianity represents the largest religious group in the world, with almost 2.4 billion people following the religion across the globe.

In the Christian calendar, there are nearly 50 important dates, most of which are Saint days. Some of the most important religious holidays include:

Holiday Dates What is it?
Mardi Gras/Pancake Day 2021 16/02
2022
01/03
2023
21/02
Also known as ‘Fat Tuesday’, or Shrove Tuesday – this is a celebration which occurs before Lent, and involves eating fatty foods – in modern times, this could include indulging in foods one might give up for lent. In many parts of the world, Mardi Gras involves festivals and parties
Lent 2021 17/02 – 01/04
2022 02/03 – 14/04
2023 22/02 – 06/04
Lent occurs in the 40 days before Easter celebrations begin. It is observed for this length of time to mirror Jesus’ 40 days in the desert, and is a period of reflection for Christians
Palm Sunday 2021 28/03
2022
10/04
2023
02/04
Commemoration of Jesus’ arrival into Jerusalem, marks the beginning of Holy week (which ends on Easter Sunday)
Easter 2021 04/04
2022
17/04
2023
09/04
Commemoration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ

Dates are worked out by a lunisolar calendar, but it always falls on a Sunday between March 22nd and April 25th

Pentecost 2021 23/05
2022
05/06
2023
28/05
Celebrated the 50th day after Easter Sunday. This marks the Holy Spirit’s descent on the Apostles in Jerusalem
Advent 2021 28/11 – 24/12
2022 27/11 – 24/12
2023 03/12 – 24/12
A period of preparation for the celebration of Christmas

Begins on the 4th Sunday before Christmas, ends on Christmas Eve

Christmas 25th December Commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Celebrated religiously and culturally around the world

 

Judaism

There are an estimated 14.7 million Jewish people globally, most of them residing in Israel and The United States. The religion is deeply rooted in tradition.

Although Judaism has a host of celebrations throughout the year, Jewish families don’t traditionally celebrate Christmas. Although, it is becoming more popular to decorate with a Christmas tree to mark the season.

Holiday Date What is it?
Shabbat Every Friday A day of rest on the 7th day of every week in the Jewish calendar
Rosh Hashanah 2021 – 06/09 – 08/09 Rosh Hashanah is the celebration of the Jewish New Year
2022 – 25/09 – 27/09
2023 – 15/09 – 17/09
Yom Kippur 2021 – 15/09 – 16/09 During Yom Kippur, Jewish people ask for forgiveness from God. During this period, they abstain from food and drink
2022 – 04/10 – 05/10
2023 – 24/10 – 25/10
Sukkot 2021 – 20/09 – 27/09 A biblical holiday where hut like structures are put up to mark the sheltering of the Israelites in the wilderness
2022 – 09/10 – 16/10
2023 – 29/09 – 06/10
Hanukkah 2021 – 28/11 – 06/12 Known as the Festival Of Lights. It commemorates the recovery of Jerusalem, and is celebrated with traditional foods, present giving and more
2022 – 18/12 – 26/12
2023 – 07/13 – 15/12
Passover 2021 – 27/03 – 04/04 A very special celebration marking the liberation of the Hebrews from slavery.
2022 – 15/04 – 23/04
2023 – 05/04 – 13/04

 


 

Hinduism

 

Approximately 1.2 billion people adhere to Hinduism across the globe. There are a wide range of festivals, events and celebrations in the Hindu calendar. It’s important to note that many festivals dates and traditions vary from region to region.

 

Holiday   What is it?
Maha Shivratri 01/03 This date symbolises the wedding day of Lord Shiva. Followers of Shiva fast in the name of their religion and offer Bael leaves to Shiva. Celebrations involve early waking, taking a ritual bath and visiting their local temple and bathing a representation of Shiva (the Shiva Lingam) in milk, honey and water.
Date varies
Holi 2021 – 29/03 A celebration commemorating Lord Vishnu’s devotee Prahlad slaying Holika, a demoness.
2022 – 18/03
2023 – 08/03
Raksha Bandhan / Rakhi Purnima 2021 – 22/08  A festival which is celebrated in northern India. This date celebrates the love of brothers for their sisters.
2022 – 11/08
2023 – 30/08
Krishna Janmaashtami 2021 – 20/08 A celebration of the birth of Indian deity Krishna.
2022 – 18/08
2023 – 06/09
Ganesh Chaturthi 2021 – 10/09 A celebration of Ganesh’s arrival on earth.
2022 – 31/08
2023 – 19/09
Navratri 2021 – 07/10 – 15/10 Nine nights of worshop and dance. It is the most auspicious period in the Hindu calendar, and has different names across India.
2022 – 26/09 – 5/10
2023 – 15/10 – 24/10
Diwali 2021 – 04/11 Also known as Deepavali. Celebrated to commemorate Lord Krishna and his wife slaying a demon. There are other stories if why Diwali is celebrated.
2022 – 24/10
2023 – 12/11

 

 

 

Islam

Islam has one of the biggest followings in the world. Globally, there are 1.8 billion adherents. People who follow Islam are called Muslims.

There are technically only two official holidays in the Islamic calendar, Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr.

 

Holiday Date Note
Eid al-Adha 2021 – 19/07 – 23/07 This is one of 2 official Islamic holiday’s, also known as Festival of Sacrifice, celebrating the prophet Ibrahim’s loyalty to Allah
2022 – 09/07 – 13/07
2023 – 28/06 – 02/07
Maulid Al-Nabi 2021 – 18/10 – 19/10 Celebrating the Islamic prophet Muhammad’s birth
2022 – 07/10 – 08/10
2023 – 26/09 – 27/09
Ramadan 2021 – 12/04 – 12/05 The 9th month in the Islamic Calendar. It is a month of reflection amongst the Islamic community, marked by fasting and prayer
2022 – 02/04 – 01/05
2023 – 23/03 – 22/04
Eid al-Fitr 2021 – 12/05 – 13/05 This is one of 2 official Islamic holidays
2022 – 02/05 – 03/05
2023 – 21/04 – 22/04

 

 

 

 

Religions that do not celebrate holidays

Most religions and churches celebrate important dates with festivals, events and holidays – with one exception.

Jehovah’s Witnesses do not celebrate holidays which aren’t associated with Jesus. They also choose not to celebrate Easter and Christmas, as these holiday’s have roots in paganism.

 

 

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lists_of_holidays

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advent

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palm_Sunday

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hinduism_by_country

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maha_Shivaratri

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Hindu_festivals

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jews

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_holidays

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