Easter is a Christian holiday

The Christian Holidays

What do they mean - when do they take place?

In relation to other religions, Christians are masters in partying. They have around 20 festive days a year, more than any other religion.

The church year consists primarily of the festival circles, which were formed first around Easter, then also around Christmas, which in Christian history gradually became an annual cycle.

Here is an overview of the meaning of Christian holidays, what is celebrated and when they are scheduled for the following years:

Easter - The feast of Easter

Every year in Christianity the commemoration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ is celebrated at Easter. Easter always falls on the Sunday after the first full moon in spring. For a long time it was thought that the name "Easter" was derived from "Estre", the name of the Teutonic goddess of spring and fertility. Today scientists assume that "Easter" was derived from "Ostarum", ie "Dawn".

Holy Week is the last week before Easter and begins with Palm Sunday, on which Christians celebrate the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. The Last Supper is celebrated on Maundy Thursday, after which the death of Jesus on the cross is commemorated on Good Friday. On Holy Saturday there is rest of the grave and on the third day, i.e. on Easter Sunday, the resurrection / resurrection of Jesus is celebrated.

Good Friday to Easter Monday
2021April 2nd - 5th
2022April 15-18
2023April 7th - 10th
2024May 29th - April 1st
2025April 18-21

Ascension of Christ

The memory of the exaltation of Christ is celebrated 40 days after Easter Sunday, i.e. always on a Thursday. These 40 days go back to the testimony of Luke: "After his suffering he proved himself to be alive to the apostles through many evidences, in that he appeared to them for forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God."

Ascension of Christ
2021May 13th
2022May 26
2023May 18
2024May 09
2025May 29th

Pentecost - The festival of Pentecost

Pentecost is 50 days after Easter. In the Church, Pentecost is the feast of the Holy Spirit, who came down on the apostles when they were gathered in Jerusalem (Acts 2).

Luke used the narrative elements of the events on Sinai to describe what happened on the day of Pentecost and wanted to make it clear that what happened on Sinai for the Jewish people, Pentecost was repeated for all peoples: a new legislation, the law of love for the "new" Israel, "the Church. Linguistic confusion that had occurred during the construction of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11, 1-9) was now overcome by a language of the Spirit, communication was now possible between people, between people and God (Acts 2: 6).

Whit Sunday / Whit Monday
2021May 23rd / 24th
2022June 5th / 6th
2023May 28-29
2024May 19-20
2025June 8th / 9th

Corpus Christi

The Roman Catholic holiday Corpus Christi, the "solemnity of the body and blood of Christ" is celebrated on the second Thursday after Pentecost, i.e. 10 days after Pentecost. The name "Corpus Christi" comes from "fron", "Lord", and "lichnam", "body", thus referring to the elements of the Eucharist.

Corpus Christi is only a public holiday in the federal states of Baden-W├╝rttemberg, Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia, Hesse and Saarland.

Corpus Christi
2021June 3rd
2022June 16
2023June 8th
202430th May
2025June 19

Assumption of Mary (August 15)

The solemn festival was first celebrated in the 6th century as the festival of the "dormition" of Mary, and at the end of the 6th century it was set to the present day by the Eastern Roman Emperor Mauritius. In the 7th century the feast of the "Admission of Mary" was celebrated in Gaul, from the 8th century it developed into the Feast of Ascension, first celebrated in Rome on August 15, in 813 the Feast of Mary was introduced in Germany. In the Roman Catholic Church it is an expression of the doctrine of the faith that the body of Mary was taken up into heaven. In 1950 Pope Pius XII proclaimed the dogma "of the whole human acceptance of Mary into heaven".

Assumption of Mary is only a public holiday in the federal states of Bavaria and Saarland.

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All Saints' Day (November 1st)

The origin of the veneration of saints can be traced back to the martyr cult. Martyrs, special people, church teachers and bishops were venerated. Pope Gregory IV ordered a festival for all saints in the 9th century, as it was impossible to assign a separate day to each saint. In the course of time a real cult of saints developed. Today, however, the original purpose of the festival is being celebrated, namely to commemorate exemplary people.

All Saints' Day is only a public holiday in the federal states of Baden-W├╝rttemberg, Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia and Saarland.

All Souls Day (November 2nd)

On All Souls Day, Catholics remember the deceased relatives. The festival can be traced back to an abbot of the Cluny monastery, who in 998 ordered a "deceased memorial day" for the deceased of the associated monasteries. All Souls Day has a custom that graves are decorated and consecrated by priests. In addition, lanterns are set up, as an old popular belief says that in those days the souls of the deceased return to earth to find their resting place.

Day of Prayer and Repentance

Reflection, critical life balance and reorientation are the focus of evangelical church services on the day of penance and prayer. The day of remembrance is celebrated on the first Wednesday after the day of national mourning. The Day of Repentance and Prayer in Germany is a holiday of the Protestant Church that goes back to times of need. In the course of history, days of penance and prayer have repeatedly been scheduled for current events. In the face of emergencies and dangers, the whole population was called to repentance and prayer.

The Day of Repentance and Prayer is a public holiday in Saxony. In Bavaria, there are no classes on the day of repentance and prayer. In Berlin, Protestant students are exempt from teaching.

Day of Prayer and Repentance
2021November 17th
2022November 16
202322nd of November
202420th November
2025November 19th

Nicholas (December 6th)

Nicholas is celebrated in memory of the bishop of Myra named Nikolaus. The bishop cared for needy and sick people, although this was unusual for the upper class. He is said to have distributed all of his inherited wealth to the poor. In Europe, the cult of Nicholas began after 1000 AD as Theophanu (wife of Emperor Otto II), the bones of St. Nicholas was transferred from Constantinople to Bari. Traditionally, gifts are given to children on December 6th (the anniversary of the death of St. Nicholas).

Christmas Eve (December 24th)

Christmas Eve is the eve before Christmas and at the same time the last day of Advent. The small gifts that are exchanged on Christmas Eve are an image of the great gift (God's Son) that God gave to people.

Christmas (December 25-26)

The most popular Christian festival is Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ is celebrated. Although the actual date of birth has not been passed down and the festival was only introduced 30 years after his death, it was declared a general religious holiday as early as 813 AD. Christmas is a celebration of community and family. The candle-lit conifer is one of the typical Christmas customs, with its green branches it symbolizes life. Stars are reminiscent of the comet that showed the way to Bethlehem.

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