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On repeat we celebrate holidays we have thanks to Jesus. For a lot of us this means we have days off. Where did this tradition start and what makes these days so important for so many?

Cross of Christ


The 40 days from Carnival until Easter are called Lent. Forty days of reflection, looking forward to Jesus’ death and resurrection. Many Christians will live a more temperate lifestyle than usual.

Clouds above trees

Ascension Day

Christians celebrate that Jesus ascended up to heaven 40 days after his resurrection.

The Float of the King Carnival parading in Patras, Greece


The Catholic festival of Carnival starts on a Sunday and lasts until Ash Wednesday and is for many people a happy festival. With Ash Wednesday the time of Lent starts which lasts until Easter.


Epiphany or Three Kings’ Day

What is Epiphany or Three Kings’ Day all about? A few astrologers (maybe three) saw an unusual star and traveled to Bethlehem to bring the newborn Jesus gifts. This is a holiday in many South-European countries.


Where does Christmas come from?

The Germans celebrated Winter Solstice and the Romans Saturnalia, the festival in honour of Saturn the god of light. Through Christianization these festivals were replaced by the celebration of Jesus’ birth. ​