Our calendar is full of Christian holidays: Christmas, Easter, Carnival. All throughout the year Christians all over the world celebrate important markers in the life of Jesus. There are cultural differences in how these events are celebrated. But all take the time to commemorate the birth, the suffering, the death and the resurrection of Jesus.
What is the meaning of Christmas?
Christmas is the first holiday celebrated on the Christian calendar. Christmas marks the birth of Jesus. A new beginning between God and man. Watch this beautiful Sandy Tales Christmas story here.
Why a celebration of Three Kings?
The Three Kings were the first visitors of baby Jesus. This holiday is celebrated to mark the moment when the world became acquainted with Jesus. Three Kings is also called Epiphany or revelation. Jesus makes himself manifest. How is Three Kings celebrated?
>>> We take a big step in the life of Jesus. When he turns 30 years old he travels the country and gathers a group of friends around him. The Bible tells stories of extraordinary encounters and the teachings of Jesus. We get back on the holiday trail when Jesus has only got a few more months before he is put to death. In these different celebrations, his suffering will be reflected in various ways. First off: Carnival.
What does Carnival mean?
Carnaval literally means carne vale which means: goodbye to the meat. This cheerful feast is celebrated exuberantly to usher in Lent which begins after Carnival.
Why do we fast at Lent?
Forty days before the death of Jesus, Lent begins. In the Bible, people often fast to focus on God. No eating or drinking for a while often clears the mind. A time of reflection. But it is also seen as a sacrifice. Giving up something to show how grateful you are for what God has done to us.
What is Palm Sunday?
The beginning of the end. The Sunday before Easter. Jesus arrives in the city of Jeruzalem, the capital. He is welcomed like a hero. Everyone is waving Palm branches hence the name Palm Sunday.
But within a few days the mood changes. The people in power are not so happy with his joyeus reception. They plot to get rid of him.
What’s good about Good Friday?
Jesus is captured and sentenced to death. The day he dies is called Good Friday. Actually a very sad day you would think. What’s good about that? But Christians believe his death is not the end. Three days later at Easter he will be resurrected. And that’s good news. How is Good Friday celebrated?
What do we celebrate at Easter?
Easter is the holiday that it’s all about. People have long wanted to know: Who is Jesus? This is the moment where Jesus shows who he really is: the Son of God. God is stronger than death, so Jesus also overcomes death. His death is seen as the ultimate sacrifice God makes to make amends between him and people. Watch a beautiful Sandy Tales on Easter here.
Jesus lives! For 40 days he talks to people and tries to teach his friends even more about the love of God. But he cannot walk around the earth forever. His friends have to say goodbye to him during his Ascension.
What is Ascension Day?
This holiday may come across as the strangest celebration of the lot. Jesus ascending to heaven. As crazy as it may sound, this is a very important and also essential moment in the life of Jesus. Jesus returns to his Father as the Son of God. On Ascension Day Jesus leaves his friends. His task on earth has been completed.
What is Pentecost?
His friends are left alone. They don’t really know what to do next. Jesus has always been their leader and inspiration. Where he went, they followed. And now? They felt alone and out of control. But then, 10 days after the Ascension of Jesus, everything changes. God does not abandon them. He fills their hearts with passion and desire. God no longer rules from above but from within. Pentecost was a new beginning.