5th March is Pancake Day or Shrove Tuesday. People will enjoy a final fling before the forty days of Lent begin, celebrating with traditions as diverse as pancake tossing, skipping, crazy ball games and exotic carnivals. Crowds of revelers will flock to carnivals in Rio, New Orleans, Venice and a host of other cities, joining in the fun with music, dancing, colourful costumes and parades.
On 25 December more than a third of the world’s population will celebrate Christmas Day. But this is not the only date on which the birth of Christ is remembered. In many eastern countries people will celebrate Christmas on 7 January, while in Armenia the date will be 6 January.
So why do we celebrate on 25 December and what are the reasons for the different dates for Christmas?
This Sunday 11th November, in cities, towns and villages, bells will once again ring for peace, beginning with a slow toll in memory of those who died, and then ringing the changes to produce the joyful peal that is such a distinctively British sound.
Images and symbols from Mexico’s Day of the Dead or Dia de los Muertos are an increasingly familiar sight, thanks to the media and some recent major films. Less understood are its centuries-old significance and the symbolic meanings behind the rituals. We learn more about this ‘deadly’ tradition……
As the Days of Awe draw to a close and new resolutions begin, we take a look at the significance of Yom Kippur, Jewish New Year and how we celebrate the birthday of the human race.