A commemoration of the lives of people, known and unknown, whose holiness and compassion toward others represent the best Christian virtues. In some Christian traditions, the following day is reserved for intercessions for the dead and is known as All Souls’ Day. Latino/a people in North and Central America mark these days in connection with celebrations of Día de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead.
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.
This day commemorates the entrance of the three-year-old Virgin Mary into the temple at Jerusalem to receive an education and begin her life of absolute dedication to God. According to some apocryphal writings, Mary also entered the Temple’s Holy of Holies on this occasion, thus becoming the first and only woman ever to enter that sacred space.
This feast day commemorates Jesus’ teaching that he will return at the end of time to judge humanity. In the Western Christian liturgical year, this is the last Sunday; the following Sunday (i.e., the first Sunday of Advent) marks the beginning of a new year.
A Roman Catholic holiday celebrating the belief that Mary, mother of Jesus, was preserved from original sin for her entire life.
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.