This GCSE RE quiz takes a look at festivals and celebrations. In common with most great world faiths, Christianity enjoys its fair share of celebrations and festivals: you may well already be familiar with at least some of these, but please be aware that this present quiz does not include 'personal festivals' (e.g. marking birth, marriage or death) since these are treated separately as Rites of Passage.
The main Christian festivals mark the birth of Jesus (observed each 25 December, which was highly unlikely to be the actual anniversary); His Resurrection from death on Easter Sunday (also rarely likely to be the precise anniversary); His Ascension back into Heaven, and the coming of the Holy Spirit to awaken the Church (Pentecost / ‘Whit Sunday’).
The birth festival of Christmas is preceded by a month of awaiting (Advent), and the events of Holy Week (leading from Palm Sunday [commemorating the Triumphal Entry] to Good Friday and the Crucifixion) are preceded by a 40-day penitential period known as Lent. After Pentecost comes Trinity Sunday, marking the complete manifestation of God in His three Persons (creator Father; Jesus the Son; and the Holy Spirit); the Church then passes into ‘Ordinary Time’, with no other such special observances in the summer months between about June and October, when Harvest and Remembrance come a few weeks before the next Advent begins.
Other occasional festivals are held in certain traditions, such as the marking of All Saints’ Day and the feast &/or martyrdom dates of individual saints, e.g. the patron (name-) saint of any given church building; Harvest Festival in the autumn (as mentioned above), and a matching springtime observance at the beginning of nature’s visible annual growth cycle (see question 10 below); Remembrance Day has taken on most of the civic and ceremonial aspects of a religious festival, with solemn parades, music and evocative commemorative forms of words.
Come with us now through a range of these special events, and discover how they have come about and how they tend to be marked!