You will probably have heard of Christmas and Easter. It is very likely that you have marked the occasions by giving and receiving presents, or eating hot cross buns and chocolate eggs. These two festivals are inescapably part of our culture.
But there are many other church festivals and traditions which are less well known, but just as significant to countless Christians. Ascension Day and Pentecost commemorate the events immediately following the first Easter: Jesus’ return to heaven and the coming of the Holy Spirit, written about in the beginning of the Book of Acts in the New Testament. Special men and women who have inspired generations of Christians, known as ‘saints’, have a special feast day in November: All Saints Day.
There are also many celebrations which have become part of church life in the last couple of centuries. Saying ‘thank you’ to God for the good things He has given has been an important practice in the Christian faith for millennia, but the harvest festival as we know it today is less than 200 years old. Remembrance Sunday is another important annual event in our churches. Taking place every November, it has become a day to reflect on and honour the sacrifices of those who work for peace, both in the past and in the present.
In this section, you will discover more about some of these other important dates in the church calendar – where they come from, why they are special and how they are celebrated in different churches across the country. Perhaps you can start by finding out which festival is known as the birthday of the Church?Bookmark