Calendars of religious festivals
Each faith celebrates its beliefs according to a different calendar. Here are a few dates.
Judaism- The New Year (Rosh Hashanah) corresponds to the Day of Judgement of God the Creator. It is celebrated between late September and early October, according to the Hebrew calendar, which is 3760 years ahead of the current conventional Gregorian calendar (set in place in 1582). - The "Day of Atonement" (Yom Kippur) or expiation of sins falls ten days after Rosh Hashanah.- The Feast of Tabernacles or Booths (Sukkot) follows closely after the Pardon (in memory of the 40 years spent in the desert by the Jewish ancestors. The last day consecrates the Joy of the Torah (Simat Torah), always in October.- Hanukkah (the festival of Lights) marks an important event, when an oil lamp lasted miraculously to give thanks to god for the victory of the Hebrews. This takes place in December and represents the Jewish version of "Christmas" for children, who receive toys and gifts.- Purim (in March) reminds us of another episode when the queen of the Hebrews, Esther, managed to dissuade the King of the Persians from murdering her people.- Pesach (in April) commemorates the Jewish people who were freed from slavery in Egypt and who crossed the Red Sea.- Shavuot (late May, early June) symbolises the gift of the Torah, in the Sinai desert, after their flight from Egypt.Islam- The New Year, the first day of the Hijra or Hegira (1 Muharram), marks the beginning of the Muslim era, in reference to the exile of the prophet Muhammad to Medina in 622 (according to our current calendar). Between November and December, depending on the years.- Ashura is a day of fasting, on the 10th day of the first month of Hegira. It falls between November and January.- Milad Un Nabi celebrates the birth of the Prophet, on the 12th day of the third month of the Hegira. In February.- Lailat Al Miraj commemorates the prophet's journey from Mecca to Jerusalem and his ascension to heaven, to be with Allah. It falls between June and July.- Lailat Ul Bara'h marks the approach of Ramadan, and is the time when Muslims ask for forgiveness. It falls between June and July.- Ramadan commemorates the revelation of the Koran. The ninth month of the Hegira is devoted to total fasting during the day. This act of penance (only for adults) constitutes one of the five "pillars" of Islam. In August.- Eid Al Saghir marks the end of Ramadan. It usually falls in mid-August and September.- Eid Al-Khebir is symbolised by the offering of a sheep to God, in memory of Abraham's sacrifice. It falls between August and September.
- Christmas symbolises the birth of Christ, the feast of the Nativity.- Palm Sunday is the beginning of Holy Week, in memory of the last moments and the Passion of Christ - Easter symbolises the most important dogma: the Sacrifice and Resurrection of Christ.- Ascension marks Christ rising to Heaven, to be with God the father, 40 days after Easter.- Pentecost celebrates the Holy Spirit, who urged the Apostles to spread the good word of the Gospel. - Assumption commemorates the rise to Heaven of the Virgin Mary to be near God.- All Saints, together with the following day (the feast of the Dead) is celebrated in memory of all the dead.Other festivals include (early December) depending on the regions, Advent, Saint Nicholas and the Immaculate Conception.
OrthodoxyThe orthodox Christian churches keep the same calendar, and place great importance on Easter.
Protestantism- This confession celebrated the main original Christian holy days, connected to Christ or decreed by the Bible: Christmas, Easter, Ascension, Whitsun. - NB: The Assembly of the Desert meets on the first Sunday in September in Mialet (Gard). It is a large gathering (15,000 participants) in France, organised by the Museum of the Desert.
- Makha Puja, marked by the full moon in February, commemorates Buddha's prediction to 1,250 disciples, marking the beginning of the teaching of wisdom.- Visakha Puja or the Festival of Vesak, also known as the Harvest Festival, celebrates in May the three major events in the life of Buddha: his birth, his awakening and his death (Paranirvana). The Buddhist community (sangha) meditates on their Awakening: the revelation of wisdom.
Among the numerous festivals, the most important are perhaps: - The festival of the Sun (Thai Pongal), in January.- The Night of Shiva (Maha Shivaratri), in February.- The Night of Shiva (Maha Shivaratri), in February.- Deepavali (or Divali) marks the Festival of Lights, between October and November. Deepavali means "row of lamps" and commemorates the return of King Rama to Ayodhya, the holy Indian city.More information about religious and spiritual movements in France >>