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Religious festivals and holidays feature in every religion observed by people all around the world. Religious commemorations enable families and loved ones to gather in celebration of a common ideal. Many faiths enjoy days off from work, special foods and cultural celebrations during times of religious festivals. Express.co.uk has rounded up all the Christian, Muslim, Hindu and Jewish festivals and their dates in 2021.
Festivals have always been a vital part of religious life.
Religious holidays have been observed since the Roman times, both in the Republican and Imperial eras.
Many of the practices used today, such as having a day off work for religious observances, began hundreds of years ago.
Public business was suspended for the performance of religious rites on the designated days during Roman times.
The law stated that people who were free should not engage in lawsuits and arguments, while even slaves were allowed a day off from their labour.
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For Christianity, the central festival of the faith is Easter, on which Christians celebrate their belief that Jesus Christ rose from the dead on the day after his crucifixion.
In Islam, the main days of commemoration centre around Ramadan, the period of fasting, and Eid, of which there are two in the year.
In Hinduism, the word for festivals is ‘Utsava’, which translates to ‘cause to grow upward’.
Hindus observe sacred occasions through festive observances, while many of their holidays are seasonal.
Some Hindus celebrate the harvest, while others commemorate the birth of Gods or heroes.
Christian holidays and festivals 2021
- Wednesday, January 6 – Epiphany
- Tuesday, February 16 – Shrove Tuesday
- Wednesday, February 17 – Ash Wednesday
- Sunday, March 28 – Palm Sunday
- Thursday, April 1 – Maundy Thursday
- Friday, April 2 – Good Friday
- Saturday, April 3 – Holy Saturday
- Sunday, April 4 – Easter Sunday
- Monday, April 5 – Easter Monday
- Friday, April 23 – St George’s Day
- Thursday, May 13 – Ascension Day
- Sunday, May 23 – Pentecost
- Monday, May 24 – Whit Monday
- Sunday, May 30 – Trinity Sunday
- Thursday, June 3 – Corpus Christi
- Monday, October 4 – Feast of St Francis of Assisi
- Monday, November 1 – All Saints’ Day
- Tuesday, November 2 – All Souls’ Day
- Wednesday, December 8 – Feast of the Immaculate Conception
- Friday, December 24 – Christmas Eve
- Saturday, December 25 – Christmas Day
- Sunday, December 26 – Boxing Day
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Muslim holidays and festivals 2021
- Thursday, March 11 – Isra and Mi’raj
- Tuesday, April 13 – Ramadan begins
- Saturday, May 8 – Laylatul Qadr (Night of Power)
- Thursday, May 13 – Eid ul Fitr
- Monday, Tuesday 20 – Eid ul Adha
- Tuesday, August 10 – Muharram/Islamic New Year
- Thursday, August 19 – Ashura
- Tueday, October 19 – Milad un Nabi (Mawlid)
Hindu holidays and festivals 2021
- Thursday, March 11 – Maha Shivaratri
- Monday, March 29 – Holi
- Sunday, August 22 – Raksha Bandhan
- Monday, August 30 – Janmashtami
- Friday, September 10 –Ganesh Chaturthi
- Thursday, October 7 – Navaratri
- Thursday, October 14 – Dussehra
- Thursday, November 4 – Diwali
Jewish holidays and festivals 2021
- Thursday, January 28 – Tu B’Shevat (Arbor Day)
- Friday, February 26 – Purim
- Sunday, March 28 – First day of Passover
- Sunday, April 4 – Last day of Passover
- Thursday, April 8 – Yom HaShoah
- Thursday, April 15 – Yom HaAtzmaut
- Friday, April 30 – Lag B’Omer
- Monday, May 17 – Shavuot
- Sunday, July 18 – Tisha B’Av
- Tuesday, September 7 – Rosh Hashanah
- Thursday, September 16 – Yom Kippur
- Tuesday, September 21 – First day of Sukkot
- Monday, September 27 – Hoshana Rabbah
- Tuesday, September 28 – Shemini Atzeret
- Wednesday, September 29 – Simchat Torah
- Monday, November 29 – First day of Hanukkah
- Monday, December 6 – Hanukkah ends
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