Monday, April 15, 2024

Christian Holidays

 

Christian And Biblical-Based Holy Days (Holidays)

 Bodie Hodge

Biblical Authority Ministries, April 15, 2024

In our culture, many Christian holidays are being erased. How many people could recite just 4 of the 12 Days of Christmas for instance? What about Saturday and Sunday—these are weekly biblical holidays! Did you realize that?

You’d be surprised how many Christian and biblical-based holidays go by and no one seems to notice. Yet, Darwin Day, Earth Day, and Halloween (non-Christian days of celebration) seem to get precedence in our school systems while Christmas gets shut down! There is shift going on.

I decided to put together a list of popular Christian holidays that have been celebrated for thousands of years as well as the biblical feasts. Many holidays (holy days) are types and shadows but the substance is Christ and holidays reflect the substance of Christ. The Bible reminds us:

Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. Colossians 2:16-17 ESV

Here are the major holidays that have been celebrated by Christians whether in the Old Testament, Intertestamental, the New Testament, or subsequently. 

Chart of Christian Holidays (including those specifically mentioned in the Bible)

Holiday

Date

All Saturdays/Sabbaths[1]

Instituted by God during Creation

All Sundays/Lord’s Days

The Day of the Lord in honor of Christ’s Resurrection on Sunday

New Moon[2]

Monthly

Advent (four Sundays proceeding Christmas)

Varies

Festival of Lights/Hanukah/Feast of Dedication[3]

Varies

St. Nicholas’s Day

December 6

Christmas Eve

December 24

Christmas

December 25

Twelve Days of Christmas[4]

December 26-January 6th

   1. Boxing Day (St. Stephen’s Day, the Martyr)

December 26

   2. Apostles Day (Specifically St. John)

December 27

   3. Ember Day (Holy Innocents)

December 28

   4. Martyrs and Sacrifice Day

December  29

   5. Holy Family Day

December 30

   6. New Year’s Eve (Hogmanay Day)

December 31

   7. New Year’s Day

January 1

   8. Church Father’s Day

January 2

   9. Triune Day[5]

January 3

   10. Presentation Day (Simeon’s and Anna’s Day)

January 4

   11. Epiphany Eve (Angels’ and Shepherds’ Day)

January 5

   12. Epiphany

January 6

Baptism of Jesus Day

Varies (first Sunday following Epiphany)

National Sanctity of Human Life Day

January 22

Creation Day

February 12

Ash Wednesday (First Day of the Lenten Season)[6]

Varies, always 40 days before Easter

St. Valentine’s Day

February 14

Purim[7]

Varies

St. Patrick’s Day

March 17

St. Joseph’s Day (husband of Mary)

March 19[8]

Passover[9],[10]

Varies (tied to the Lunar calendar but is in March or April)

Feast of Unleavened Bread[11],[12]

Varies (tied to the Lunar calendar, 7 day feast that follows Passover)

Firstfruits[13],[14]

Varies (tied to the Lunar calendar, first Sunday after the first Sabbath after Passover

Palm Sunday

Varies (the Sunday prior to Easter)

Holy Thursday[15]  (Maundy Thursday)

Varies (the Thursday prior to Easter)

Good Friday[16]

Varies (the Friday prior to Easter)

Resurrection Sunday (Easter)

The first Sunday following the first full moon on or after the vernal equinox[17]

St. George’s Day

April 23[18]

Ascension Day (39th day after the Resurrection)

Varies (always a Thursday, the 40 Day of Easter)

Feast of Weeks[19],[20]

Varies (tied to the Lunar calendar, 50 days [Pentecost] after Firstfruits)

Pentecost

Varies but is 10 days after Ascension Thursday

National Day of Prayer

May 6

St. Peter’s and St. Paul’s Day

June 29[21]

St. James the Great’s Day (son of Zebedee)

July 25[22]

Michaelmas (Michael’s and All Angel’s Day)

September 29

Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah)[23],[24]

Varies (tied to the Lunar calendar around September October)

Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur)[25],[26]

Varies (9 days after the Feast of Trumpets)

Feast of Tabernacles/Booths/Ingathering/Sukkot[27],[28]

Varies (8 days festival beginning 5 days after the Day of Atonement)

Ussher’s Birthday for Creation

October 23 per the Julian calendar (translated to September 21 by the Gregorian Calendar)

Reformation Day/All Hallows Eve

October 31

All Saints Day

November 1

All Souls Day

November 2

St. Andrew’s Day

November 30

Thanksgiving

Varies, but is always the fourth Thursday of November

 

 

Others

 

Baptism

Dependent on the individual

Holy Matrimony (and Anniversaries)

Dependent on the husband and wife[29]

Birthdays (important to keep track of age[30])

Dependent on the individual[31]

Funeral Grievance/Mourning

Dependent on the individual[32]

Jubilee

Every 50th year (last ones 1967, 2017; next ones: 2067, 2117)

Communion/Lord’s Supper

As often as you drink it, in remembrance of Christ[33]

 

 

 



[1] Types and Shadows but the substance is Christ (Colossians 2:16-17).

[2] Types and Shadows but the substance is Christ (Colossians 2:16-17).

[3] John 10:22

[4] The Twelve Days of Christmas tend to vary depending on the culture. England specifically has one of the Twelve Days honoring a Bishop of Canterbury and another celebrating a saint of Worcester for example. But the Twelve Days of Christmas have extensive overlap beginning with Boxing Day and ending with the Feast of Epiphany. Some of these days have been celebrated as far back as the AD 200’s as the Feast of Epiphany is mentioned by a church father in the Fourth Homily: On the Holy Theophany, or on Christ’s Baptism, which was written in the 3rd century AD. The listing given here is for protestants and is from: B. Hodge, The Twelve Days of Christmas (for Protestants), Biblical Authority Ministries, December 16, 2015, https://biblicalauthorityministries.wordpress.com/2015/12/16/the-twelve-days-of-christmas/.

[5] For discussion, see: God is Triune from Scripture: https://answersingenesis.org/who-is-god/the-trinity/god-is-triune/.The Athanasius Creed can be found here: https://carm.org/christianity/creeds-and-confessions/athanasian-creed-500-ad.

[6] Sometimes denoted as Repentance and Fasting Day and beginning 40 days prior to Easter in honor of Jesus’ 40 days of fasting and prayer and Christ’s temptation by Satan.

[7] Based on Esther 9:26-32

[8] If Palm Sunday happens to fall on St. Joseph’s Day (a rare occurrence), then St. Joseph’s Day is honored on the following Monday.

[9] Exodus 12:1-4; Leviticus 23:5; Numbers 9:1-14; 28:16; Deuteronomy 16:1-3, 4-7; Matthew 26:17; Mark 14:12-26; John 2:13; 11:55; 1 Corinthians 5:7; Hebrews 11:28.

[10] Types and Shadows but the substance is Christ (Colossians 2:16-17) as He is our ultimate and final Passover sacrifice satisfying the wrath of God upon sin through the blood of His Son Jesus Christ.

[11] Types and Shadows but the substance is Christ (Colossians 2:16-17).

[12] Exodus 12:15-20; 39; 13:3-10; 23:15; 34:18; Leviticus 23:6-8; Numbers 28:17-25; Deuteronomy 16:3, 4, 8; Mark 14:1,12; Act 12:3.

[13] Types and Shadows but the substance is Christ (Colossians 2:16-17).

[14] Exodus 23:19; 34:26; Leviticus 23:9-14; Deuteronomy 26:5,9-10.

[15] After Sunset to commemorate the Last Supper.

[16] Commemorating the Day of Jesus’ Crucifixion.

[17] This is because Easter always follows the Passover date in any given year because Jesus actual resurrection was after the date that the Passover began. The Passover date is determined on a lunar Babylonian Calendar that was adopted by the Jews in the Captivity. The Jewish (Babylonian) Calendar has 354 days per year based on the moon’s cycle which is about 29.5 days (so each lunar month is either 29 or 30 days in length) with an extra month thrown in a every few years to correct the calendar. To make sure that Resurrection Sunday always followed Passover (the type and shadow leading to the Resurrection) on the Gregorian Calendar currently in use, a lunar element was added to fix the day each year. This is why dates for Easter, and those linked to Easter, vary each year on the current calendar. To calculate Easter Sunday, it is the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal/Spring equinox.

[18] This is the date accepted for date of his death during persecution of Christians in AD 303.

[19] Types and Shadows but the substance is Christ (Colossians 2:16-17).

[20] Exodus 23:16; 34:22; Leviticus 23:15-21; Numbers 28:26-31; Deuteronomy 16:9-12.

[21] In honor of their martyrdom at the hand of Nero in AD 68.

[22] In honor of his martyrdom in AD 44.

[23] Types and Shadows but the substance is Christ (Colossians 2:16-17).

[24] Leviticus 23:23-25; Numbers 29:1-6; 2 Samuel 6:15.

[25] Types and Shadows but the substance is Christ (Colossians 2:16-17).

[26] Leviticus 16:1-34; 23:26-32; Numbers 29:7-11.

[27] Types and Shadows but the substance is Christ (Colossians 2:16-17).

[28] Exodus 23:16; 34:22; Leviticus 23:33-38; 39-43; Numbers 29:12-34; Deuteronomy 16:13-15; 1 Kings 8:3; 2 Chronicles 7:1; Zechariah 14:16-19; John 7:2.

[29] Based on Genesis 2:24; Mark 10:6-9; John 2:1-11, etc.

[30] Important for a host of things such as Exodus 30:14, Number 1:3, etc.

[31] Based on Job 1:4, etc.

[32] Based on Genesis 27:41; Deuteronomy 34:8

[33] Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 11:25

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