Historical, archaeological and literary evidences have greatly focused the life and teachings of Jesus.
The festival of Christmas or the birth anniversary of Jesus Christ is celebrated with great cheer and enthusiasm all over the world Christians. It falls on Dec 25 and commemorates the birth of Lord Jesus Christ which s celebrated with faith, joy and enthusiasm. On this day people in their clothes attend special services of mid-night which continues till the new years day .The celebrations starts on the christmasol eve with carol singing ,visiting friends and relation till ate in by the night. On the final day, a Mid �Night Mass followed by the ringing of the church bells, ushers in the Christian saint day of Christmas. In big cities and towns, processions are taken out with tableaus depicting the life and teachings of Jesus Christ and other saints. Christians beautifully decorate their houses by erecting Christmas trees and exchange greetings around it. Exchanging cards has also become a very important part of the festivities. Besides markets are flooded with a lot of decorative items on the day. The Christmas star has traditionally been associated with the spirit of the celebration and their is something very special about it. The significance of the star can be found in the story related to the birth of Jesus Christ.
It is a famous Christian festival which is celebrated on the Friday before easter which is celebrated in March �April to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ who sacrificed on the cross for the sake of entire humanity. On this day, Christians mourn Christs death and strict fast, and attend services in Churches. Generally Easter falls on the first Sunday following the Paschal Full Moon, the full moon on or after 21 March, taken to be the date of the vernal equinox. Good Friday marks the end of the 40-day period of fasting and renunciation during Lent, which recalls the days of penance Jesus spent in the desert. It is also called the Black Friday � from the vestments of the clergy and altar in the Western Church. Some churches concentrate less on prayers, and instead encourage the people to become involved in charitable deeds. The service consists of prayers and readings from the Bible. . The service lasts through the three hours during which Jesus suffered on the cross. It involves sermons, meditation sessions, and readings from the gospels. A communion service is held at midnight. In many churches, a piece of wood in the shape of the cross is kept. Christians mourn on Good Friday and pray to express their love, faith and deep devotion in Jesus Christ. Some wear black clothes to symbolize mourning and take out a procession with an image of Jesus and go the burial place.
Easter is a time of springtime festivals and it marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is celebrated between 22nd March and 25th April on the Sunday following the Full moon, Easter ceremonies correspond to Passover, the Jewish festival of Yore. Easter symbolizes the ultimate victory of good over evil. Feasts are given, sweets sweets exchanged and joyous processions are taken out on this occasion. It is carried by the clergymen while the crowd follows in two parallel lines in front of and in back of the statue, some weeping and all with very solemn faces. In Panjim, which draws the largest crowd, a large wooden cross-carried by an image of Jesus is taken from the church, down the steps, and through the streets of the town. Edible as also artificial and hard boiled eggs are given on Easter as gifts. Christians congregate in large masses and thank Christ, the saviour of whole humanity on the occassion of Easter.
Christ in his final week of life is called as the Holy Week. It is considered as a very holy week for the death and resurrection of Lord Jesus Christ who takes away the sins of the world. Important days of Holy week are named Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday. On the Palm Sunday Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a colt. During this time people carry palm branches carry in processions symbolizing victory. The last supper in Christians is referred as 'Maundy Thursday" where Jesus was betrayed by Judas in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night. For it was on the day Jesus washed the feet of all his disciples thereby establishing a ceremony known as the Eucharist. This day is celebrated by commemoration of services and ceremonies where the priest washes feet of 12 people. There are some specific hymns sung on these occasions like Ride on, Ride on in Majesty, and all glory, laud and honour.
The date on which lent is celebrated varies from year to year. It with Ash Wednesday and lasts for six and a half weeks. In the past it was a long, strict religious fast when people gave up all rich food. The day before Lent starts is known as Shrove Tuesday. The Christian church no longer imposes a strict fast. Lent is a time when some Christians try to overcome their own faults because they believe that it was man's sin which led Jesus to be crucified. It is also the time during which people practice self Discipline, spend more time on prayers and religious acts. There are special services in the church on behalf of Lent. During this people sit together and talk about Christianity and its faith.