What are the main Christian events that occur every year?
We divide our calendar year into four seasons – Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. Each season has its special characteristics, colours and associations. For example, Autumn is often associated with harvest and the orange and yellow leaves that blow around in the blustery wind. It is also the season for bonfires and fireworks.
In the same way, some Christian churches also divide their year into different seasons. These seasons are all highlighted within this resource.
The times in between these seasons are known as ‘Ordinary Time’ in some churches. Each of these seasons help Christians focus on particular aspects of God and the plans that He has for his people. There are different characteristics, colours and festivals associated with each of the Church seasons too.
The Christmas season begins four Sundays before Christmas Day with Advent. Advent means ‘coming’.
Christmas is an important time for Christians. It is the time when they remember God coming to earth in the form of a baby.
Epiphany is the twelfth day of Christmas - January 6th. At Epiphany, Christians remember when the wise men visited Jesus.
Lent is a special time in the Church’s calendar that takes place each spring in the run up to Easter. It begins in either late February or early March with Ash Wednesday.
Ash Wednesday signals the start of Lent. It is called ‘Ash Wednesday’ because Lent is a time when people are sorry for the wrong things in their lives and ashes are used as signs of sadness.
Palm Sunday is the beginning of Holy Week – a celebration of the final week of Jesus’ life on earth.
On this day Christians remember the event known as The Last Supper. ‘Maundy’ is an old word for a commandment. This is because over dinner, Jesus gave his disciples an important commandment, to love one another as He had loved them.
Good Friday is the Friday of Holy Week, the Friday before Easter Day, it was the day when Jesus stood trial before the priests and later a Roman Governor called Pilate.
It is on Easter Sunday that Christians celebrate the Resurrection, the time when Jesus came back to life.
Ascension Day is the day when Christians believe Jesus returned to heaven. This is really important for Christians, as it tells them that Jesus is alive and ruling with God the Father and the Holy Spirit as one person of the Trinity.
At Pentecost, Christians celebrate God’s gift of the Holy Spirit to the earliest Christians, turning them from frightened individuals into bold preachers.
All Saints Day
All Saints Day is when Christians celebrate the lives of Saints – or Christians whose example is inspirational or important. They think about the good things that they said and did.