NB. Colour code
Ascension Day - Celebrates the ascension of Jesus into heaven, where he sits at the right hand of the Father and prays for the world. Ascension Day is a reminder to Christians that Jesus took his, as well as our humanity into heaven. The festival marks the end of Jesus' post-resurrection appearance.
Ash Wednesday - The beginning of Lent.
Advent - The season of preparation for Christ's coming at Christmas as well as his 'Second Coming'. Means 'the arrival.' Refers to the coming of the Word of God into the world as a man.
Chanukah - A festival in which the right of every person to follow their own religion is celebrated. During Chanukah, many foods are cooked in oil, and doughnuts and 'Jewish chips,' or potato pancakes are popular. Many games are also played during this time.
Christmas - Commemorates the event in which Christians believe, the Word of God became flesh and lived life as a human. The actual date of Jesus' birth is not known, and the date, December 25th was chosen by the western church.
Corpus Christi -
Easter - Commemorates when Jesus, who had been crucified the day before the Sabbath, was raised to life by God the day after the Sabbath.
Easter Day - The day in which Christians share with Jesus the elation when he was resurrected from the dead.
Epiphany - To the Western Christians, this date is celebrated as they remember the visit of the three Wise Men to the infant Jesus. To the eastern church, Christmas itself is celebrated on this day.
Feast of the Annunciation -The day when the angel Gabriel told Mary she was going to be Jesus' mother.
Good Friday - Day when Christians prepare to share with Jesus the agony and pain he went through on the Cross. All prayers concentrate on the crucifixion of Jesus.
Holy Week - The end of Lent. A week which is set aside for focusing on the death of Christ and his death's meaning for the salvation of the world.
Lent - A solemn time, usually a fasting period, preceding Easter in which Christians remember Jesus' forty days of fasting as well as consider the disciplines of their faith.
Maundy Thursday - The day in which the institution of Holy Communion is celebrated. When a new commandment was given to the people by Jesus.
Passover - A week long celebration which celebrates the birthday of the Jewish peoples. Passover (or Pesach) celebrates the Exodus from Egypt to the promised land of Israel, when the Hebrews were freed from slavery and given their freedom. During Passover, there are many services held in the synagogue and an important ceremonial meal at home called the Seder. At the Seder, the people joining in read passages and sing songs from a book called a haggadah.
Pentecost - Festival in which the Christians celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit to the apostles. It is a Christian version of a Jewish festival, Shavuot, where the Jews remember the receiving of the Torah at Sinai.
Pesach - See Passover.
Purim - Purim is about deliverance for the Jews. The story which is celebrated can be found in the Bible in the Book of Esther. During this time, Judaism encourages the drinking of wine for certain ceremonies. There is also a custom to exchange presents and give to the poor.
Rosh Hashanah - 'Head of the Year.' A festival which occurs on the Jewish New Year in which a shofar, an instrument made out of a ram's horn, is blown in remembrance of Abraham's readiness to sacrifice his son, Isaac to God. It also reminds them that God is the ruler and judge and that the people have to improve their ways. According to Jewish tradition, Rosh Hashanah is the birthday of the world. It is a day where the Jews pray not only for themselves, but for all mankind.
Sabbath - For the Jews, this is the seventh day. (Saturday) The Sabbath, according to the Ten Commandments, is a day which must be kept holy and a day of rest.
Shavuot - A pilgrim festival, where in ancient times, the Jewish people used to make a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem. Shavuot is the birthday of the Jewish religion. According to Judaism, the Torah was given to Jews on Sinai. During Shavuot, it is a Jewish custom to stay up all night and study the Torah as well as eat dairy products.
Shrove Tuesday - The day before Lent which is also known as Pancake Day. This is because this is the day in which all the essential food products are used up before Lent, the period of fasting, and it was traditional that pancakes were cooked with there products.
Simchat Torah - A festival in which the only time the Torah is read during the evening. Everyone, including the children, are 'called up' to the reading of the Torah. Simchat Torah is when the annual cycle of Torah readings is completed and restarted. It symbolizes continuity and unity.
Succot - The word Succot means Tabernacles. Succot is a joyful festival where for a week, some Jews, will build a succah, have their meals in it and perhaps even sleep there. The succah reminds the Jews that life is only for a short period of time, and just like the succah can be damaged by rain and wind, so can their lives be shortened due to bad health or accidents.
Tabernacle - See Succot.
Trinity Sunday - Sums up all the observances in the Church's calendar from Advent up until Pentecost. On Trinity Sunday, the Church is reminded of God's eternal nature - they remember that they worship one God in three persons (Father, Son and the Holy Spirit)
Whitsuntide - See Pentecost.
Yom Kippur - The Day of Atonement. Considered the holiest day of the Jewish calendar and the most important and most observed of all fast days. Every healthy adult Jew is required to fast. (The ill, pregnant women, people who require essential medicines and children under the age of thirteen do not have to fast.) jews sometimes give the money that they save on food to helping the hungry.