The beginning of a forty-day vegetarian fast in preparation for the Feast of the Nativity (Christmas) commences at sundown. For Orthodox Christians who follow the old calendar, this fast begins two weeks later.
Commemorating the appearance of the Virgin Mary near Mexico City in 1531 C.E. Juan Diego, a native American living during the Spanish conquest of Mexico, saw a vision of the Virgin Mary. He was told to build a church in her honor exactly where he stood, and in that spot the Basilica of Guadalupe was erected. Thousands of pilgrims from all over the world travel to that church every year and venerate the icon of the Virgin that is there, imprinted on Diego’s cloak; it is believed that Our Lady of Guadalupe can intercede with God so that faithful believers’ prayers can be answered, and miracles can occur. She is also the patron saint of Mexico.
A Latino/Latina Christian feast of the Lodgings, commemorating the journey of Mary and Joseph toward Bethlehem in preparation for the birth of Jesus. (through December 25)
Celebration of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, observed by prayers, exchanging of gifts, and family parties.
Christianity Remembrance of St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr.
A day of solemn memory for the male children of Bethlehem killed by King Herod in an attempt to destroy Jesus.
Some Christians celebrate this day in honor of Jesus’ mother; others celebrate this day (eight days after Jesus’ birth) as the day when Jesus was presented at the Temple and officially named by his parents.
Marking the traditional date of the visitation of the Magi to meet the infant Jesus and the end of the twelve days of Christmas, also known as Día de los Reyes (Day of the Kings). In Armenian Christian churches, this date is celebrated as the Feast of the Nativity. Most Western churches celebrate this feast as Epiphany, which comes from the Latin word meaning “manifestation”; in Ethiopian Orthodox churches it is known as Timkat and is celebrated on January 19th.
In some Eastern churches, this feast is associated with the baptism of Jesus by John and Jesus’ first recorded miracle in the Gospels, where he changed water into wine at the wedding feast in Cana. This celebration begins at sundown on the previous day. In Eastern churches using the Julian calendar, this feast occurs on January 19th.
The celebration of Jesus’ birth begins at sundown on this day, according to the Julian calendar used in some Orthodox churches.
Commemorates Mary and Joseph’s presentation of the child Jesus at the Temple in Jerusalem, as required by Mosaic law. In the Eastern churches, this day is known as the Feast of the Meeting of the Lord.
A celebration of love originally connected to the Roman Christian martyr who died in 269 C.E.