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Calendar showing the most important religious holidays of Protestantism January February March April EASTER Our Easter is variable in the calendar and falls the first Sunday after the first full moon after spring equinox, that is to say some time between the 22nd of March and the 25th of April. Easter is the oldest and largest Christian holiday. It is celebrated in memory of Christ resurrection, but has its roots in the Jewish Easter feast, in memory of the Israelis' exodus from Egypt. Two religions are celebrating Easter, Christianity and Judaism. There are similarities between Christianity and Judaism. Both believe in one (and the same) god. Have partly the same holy script. Several stories are the same in the religions, the creation story, Moses Abraham, and more. The Jewish Easter is called Pesach. Pesach means passing by. A celebration of the Jewish march out of Egypt . The Christians Easter is celebrated in memory of Jesus death and resurrection. To Easter belong: Lent; the three days before The Fasting period(day 49-47 before Easter), The Fasting period; that occurs 46 days before Easter and lasts until Easter, Easter; that falls on Easter, the date of Jesus resurrection. Easter week Palm Sunday has got its name from when Jesus rode on the donkey to Jerusalem. There the people put palm branches on the way. Palm Sunday is the Sunday before Easter, that in the church year initiates the holy week. The Wednesday in the Holy week has got its name from when they put a peace of wood in the church bell, because the sound from the bell should be mitigated. This is when Easter peace begins. The sound from the bells should be mitigated to mark that it was holy week and that Good Friday´s coming soon. Maundy Thursday have got its name from the word ablutions, that means cleaning. It was when Jesus washed his disciples´ feet. This day the Christians celebrate that Jesus instituted the holy sacraments. Jesus washed his disciples´ feet in connection with their last meal together and requested them to do the same as a sign of mutual service. Good Friday is the day that Jesus died. We are celebrating Good Friday in memory of Jesus' crucifixion and death. Easter Saturday is in the Christian tradition an empty day. It is because Christ is in the tomb and the disciples are locked up. No religious service was performed in church on Easter Saturday. Instead, we wait until Easter night to celebrate Christ's resurrection. That is why Easter Sunday is a day of joy and the biggest feast in the church year. In Sweden the celebration begins the evening before the feast day. Easter Sunday is the churches biggest day, on this day Jesus resurrected after the death and burial on Good Friday. Easter Monday has the same feast and joy mark like Easter Sunday. May Ascension Day The Christian doctrine of the Ascension holds that Jesus ascended to heaven in the presence of his disciples. Jesus is taken up bodily into heaven forty days after his resurrection as witnessed by his apostles. Ascension Day belongs to the Easter holidays and always falls on a Thursday. Ascension Day has been celebrated since the 4th century. June Pentecost The word originates from the greek word pentekoste which means fifty. Pentecost is a holiday that the believing Christians celebrate. The Pentecost day is 10 days after Ascension day and 50 days after Easter. The celebration of Pentecost is celebrated because that was the day when the holy spirit announced himself in front of the apostles in Jerusalem. Pentecost is the end of the Easter holiday and is often called “the birthday of the church” because this is when the disciples of Jesus founded the first congregation. July August October September November/December Advent Advent is the initial period in the Western church year. Advent has its historical roots in Christmas fasting, a fasting period which had similarities with the Easter fasting that was also 40 days long. Within the church, advent is also a time of fasting, it is awaiting the celebration of Jesus´ birth in Christmas. In the 11th Century advent became the name of Christmas fasting and it lasted for four weeks. Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas and goes on until Christmas Eve. The four Sundays until Christmas are called first advent, second advent and so on. The time until Christmas Eve count down is counted in different ways depending on tradition. In the northern hemisphere it´s the darkest time of the year and many people decorate their homes with an advent candlestick with four candles. You light a candle for each Sunday in advent. Another way of count down for children is the advent calendar. The children open a little door for each day in December until Christmas Eve and behind the door there are small gifts hidden. December Christmas Christmas is a festival that occurs in Sweden on December 24, almost all of Sweden celebrate it. It is a solemn time for love and being together. Usually family and friends gather to exchange gifts, hang out and eat well. Christmas is celebrated from the beginning to commemorate the birth of Jesus. Since Christianity is the majority religion in Sweden it is believed that Mary and Joseph (Jesus parents) went to tax write themselves when Maria was pregnant. When they were in Joseph's home town (where they would tax write themselves) Maria was about to give birth. There was no place for them in any inn, so finally they stayed in a house where Jesus was born. In many Swedish homes the crib has an important place, it comes from Maria putting Jesus in a manger in the stable, since there was no bed. The crib is usually in the form of a miniature copy of a house with small figures depicting Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the three wise men, shepherds and animals in the house. More recently, the Christmas tree, a spruce-lined tree with red beads, glitter, etc. placed into the room as family are spending most of their time in, has an obvious place in a Swedish home during Christmas. Similarly, Santa Claus, a red-coated white-bearded old guy walks around and hands out Christmas presents to all good children. It is usually the father or grand-father who dresses up and comes in dressed as Santa Claus. The Christmas festivities include eating special food. Meatballs, potatoes, Jansson's temptation, herring, and mini-hotdogs are examples of typical Christmas food.
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