Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christian Festivals

Good Friday, Easter, and Christmas are the three very important Christian festivals celebrated very grandly all over the world. The schools and offices remain closed during these festivals. Easter is symbolic of the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. The message of love and tolerance that Jesus had preached to mankind is spread across all humanity during these days of celebration. Special dishes are prepared, gifts and exchanged, houses are decorated, new clothes are worn, sweets and chocolates are distributed, cakes are baked and people indulge in lots more to make these days of festivities memorable and joyful. Shrove Tuesday and Lent, Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, and Whitsun are some other festivals of the Christians. There are numerous other holy days as per Christian calendar. Advent, All Soul’s Day, Baptism of the Lord, Feasts of Lord Jesus, Passion Sunday, Fixed Feast, Flower’s Day, Good Friday, Saint Joseph’s Day, Principal Feast, Carnival, Feast of the Cross, Trinity Sunday, Nativity Fast, Feast of the Sacred Heart are a few of the special days or holidays marked in the Christian calendar.

Let us highlight the significance of some of these lesser named Christian festivals. Advent is a whole festive season. It is observed in many Western Christian churches. During this season, the Christians wait and prepare for the celebration of Nativity of Jesus. All Soul’s Day on the other hand is also known as Commemoration of all faithful departed and is celebrated mainly in the Catholic Churches. Maundy Sunday is known by various names, such as, Holy Thursday, Covenant Thursday, and sometimes as Sheer Thursday and also Thursday of Mysteries. This day celebrates the day Last Supper of Jesus Christ with his Apostles. Saint Joseph’s Day falls every year on March 19 and in the principal Feast Day of Saint Joseph. Trinity Sunday is celebrated on the first Sunday after Pentecost as per the Western Liturgical Calendar. Here Trinity refers to the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. Flower’s Day is very popular is Bulgaria and is also known as Vrubnitsa or Willow Day. It is celebrated on the Sunday before Easter Sunday to remember the day when Jesus Christ entered Jerusalem while the crowd waved palm branches.

Christian holidays are mainly focussed on the life of Lord Jesus. The main insights we gain from the celebration of these festivals are that we should develop our fellowship with the Almighty; we should also work on our relationships with other fellow human beings; we should obey the commands of God; and we should lead a disciplined life.

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