Latin Feasts and Fasts

Latins of all religions celebrate many feasts and fasts throughout the year. Some are more religious, some are more popular. All are wonderful.

Celebrate the Feast of the Ascension

40th day of Easter | Thu, May 30, 2019 | The religious narrative of Jesus rising into the heavens mirrors the natural narrative of crops growing towards the sky

Feast of St. Francis of Assisi

Friday, October 4, 2019
Celebrate the feast of the patron saint of animals and the environment

All Saints Day

November 1
This Catholic feast honors all saints whether they are recognized by the church or just are saintly

Day of the Dead ~ Día de los Muertos

We build ofrendas (home altars) to invite the souls of family members to visit this world
Day of the Holy Innocents
Día de los Santos Inocentes
Child souls visit
Día de los Muertos
Day of the Dead
Adult souls visit and we tend family graves

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

DECEMBER 8 (2019, Sun) ~ The idea that the Virgin Mary was born free of sin teaches that the divinity of women and men is equal

Our Lady of Guadalupe ~ Nuestra señora de Guadalupe

DECEMBER 12 ~ Like many of us, the patron saint of Mexico is mixed race. She is the icon of Mexican identity, a blend of Indigenous, European and African people and culture. We look to faith for hope and comfort. Our Lady of Guadalupe helps us see the divine in all of us.

Carnival, Carnaval, Carnevale

EPIPHANY to FAT TUESDAY (MARDI GRAS); Mon, Jan 6 to Tue, Feb 25, 2020, Catholic winter festival ~ This reversal festival is rooted in the seasonal norms of European agrarian society that spread around the world in colonial times

Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) ends Carnival Season

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA, Tuesday before Lent, Feb 25, 2020; French Catholic Creole Haitian winter festival ~ The last day to eat fatty foods before the pious fast of Lent is America’s most famous Latin party

Celebrate Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent

WEDNESDAY, Feb 26, 2020; Catholic fast ~ Marks the beginning of Lent, the Catholic period of devotion leading to Good Friday and Easter. “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

Lent 2020, the Catholic spiritual preparation before Easter

Wed, Feb 26 – Thu, Apr 9 (2020) ~ Lent is a roughly 40-day period of Catholic devotion leading to the Christian spring festival of Good Friday and Easter

Purim 2020 celebrates the courage of Queen Esther

SOUTH WILLIAMSBURG; 14TH DAY OF ADAR, Mon-Tue, Mar 9-10, 2020; Jewish holiday feast ~ Queen Esther of Persia found the courage to break tradition, speak up, and thereby save her people

Good Friday 2020 (Viernes Santo)

FRIDAY BEFORE EASTER | Apr 10, 2019 | Christian holiday | Commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus

Celebrate Easter 2020, the Christian Spring Festival

SUNDAY, April 12, 2020 ~ The resurrection of Jesus is central to Christian thought

Celebrate Passover 2020, the Jewish Spring Festival

Fri-Sat, Apr 19-27, 2019; Jewish spring festival ~ Remember our release from slavery and the Exodus

Holy Week ~ Semana Santa

EASTER WEEK; Sun-Sat, April 14-20 in 2019; Christian celebration ~ The week of celebrations leading to Easter are the main Christian holy days

Celebrate Palm Sunday 2020

SUNDAY BEFORE EASTER; Sun, Apr 5, 2020; Holy Week Semana Santa Christian spring festival ~ Commemorates the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem

Celebrate the Feast of St Jude Thaddeus, Catholic saint of lost causes

October 28
The apostle St Jude is said to be less busy and therefore eager to help in difficult situations

Mictlancihuatl is the Aztec goddess of the underworld

October 31 – November 2
“You live as long as someone remembers you.” We remember you Mictlancihuatl.

Saint Cecilia, patron saint of musicians

November 22
Said to have heard heavenly music in her heart, she represents the idea of divine inspiration

Celebrate the Feast of Saint Joseph, Latin Father’s Day

MARCH 19 (2020, Thu); Catholic feast celebration ~ Latin Father’s Day honors Saint Joseph for being a good father and stepfather. Love you Dad.

Our Lady of Perpetual Help is the patron saint of Haiti

Patron saint of Haiti
June 27
Wednesday, June 27, 2018

La Virgen de Chiquinquirá is the patron saint of Colombia

July 9, 1919 ~ Our Lady of the Rosary of Chiquinquirá receives a Canonical Coronation at the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Chiquinquirá in Boyacá, Colombia.
Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Celebrate the Assumption of Mary, her Catholic heavenly birthday

Feast Day August 15
Thursday, August 15, 2019

Celebrate the Nativity of Mary

Saturday, September 8, 2019

Celebrate Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement

Tuesday, October 8 – 9, 2019
25 hour fast from sundown
“G’mar Hatima Tova”

Celebrate the 92nd Feast of San Gennaro 2018

Food, entertainment, Cannoli-Eating Competition, Meatball-Eating Contest, Grand Procession, Solemn High Mass. Tourists and new New Yorkers love it.
Mulberry Street
Little Italy, Manhattan
Saturday, September 15, 2018
Church of the Most Precious Blood
Wednesday, September 19, 2018
September 13 – 23, 2018

Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr 2019

May 5 – Jun 4 (2019) | Muslim holiday | Celebrate the Muslim holy month of daytime fasting which ends with the feast of Eid Al-Fitr. “Eid Mubarak” (Happy Holiday)

Celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Fátima

FÁTIMA, PORTUGAL | May 13, 1917 (Wed in 2020) | Marion apparition | Three children first see a Marion apparition in central Portugal that leads to a miracle witnessed by thousands

Eid al-Adha 2019

August 10 – 11, 2019
Sundown Saturday-Sunday
The most important Muslim holiday marks the end of the annual Hajj pilgrimage
“Eid Mubarak”

Rosh Hashanah 2019

Sun-Tue, September 29 – October 1, 2019 ~ Sound the shofar (horn)

Hanukkah 2019

December 22 to 30, 2019 ~ Hanukkah reminds us that miracles come to those who fill their time with the light of faith, hope and work. There are public menorah lightings at the Grand Army Plazas in Midtown and Prospect Park, Brooklyn. Hanukkah Sameach! (Happy Hanukkah)

Christmas Day 2019

DECEMBER 25 (2019, Wed)
Merry Christmas!
¡Feliz Navidad!
Feliz Natal!
Buon Natale!
Joyeux Noël!
Craciun Fericit!

Three Kings Day 2020 Dia de Los Reyes

JANUARY 6 (2020, Mon) ~ The gift-giving day in many Latin traditions

Celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes

LOURDES, FRANCE; Feb 11, 1858 (Tue in 2020); French Marion devotion ~ A Marion apparition told 14-year old Bernadette Soubirous to dig a well. Its water is famous for healing miracles.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2017 includes Spanish and French marchers

Fifth Avenue from 44th to 79th St
Midtown & Upper East Side, Manhattan
Saturday, March 17, 2017

All of these festivals are human attempts to understand the meaning of life, the essential miracle that binds us all.

Religion is culturally important because when the state fails, religion has been the only remnant of civilization. Many Americans relate to a European religion imposed by colonizers through the regional veneration of saints.

March Feasts

Purim 2019 is Wednesday – Thursday, March 20 – 21
Holy Week 2018 is Sunday – Saturday, March 25 – 31.

April Feasts

Easter 2018 is Sunday, April 1.

June Feasts

Eid al-Fitr 2018 is June 14 – 15.

August Feasts

Eid al-Adha 2018 is Monday – Tuesday, August 20 – 21.

September Feasts

The Feast of San Gennaro, patron Saint of Naples, is Wednesday, September 19, 2018.

Rosh Hashanah 2018 is Sunday – Tuesday, September 9 – 11.

Yom Kippur 20187 is Tuesday – Wednesday, September 18 – 19.

Roman Catholics rank feasts.

Holy Days of Obligation

Holy Days of Obligation are holy days when the faithful are supposed to attend Mass.

  • January 1 ~ Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
  • January 6 ~ Epiphany or Three Kings Day
  • August 15 ~ Assumption of Mary
  • November 1 ~ All Saints’ Day
  • December 8 ~ Feast of the Immaculate Conception
  • December 25 ~ Christmas


Solemnities are feasts that celebrate events in the life of Jesus, Mary or important saints. All the Holy Days of Obligation are solemnities.

  • March 19 ~ Saint Joseph
  • March 25 ~ Annunciation of the Lord
  • (March 22 ~ April 25) ~ Easter
  • (April 30 ~ June 3) ~ Ascension of the Lord
  • (May 10th ~ June 13) ~ Pentecost
  • (May 17 ~ June 20) ~ Trinity Sunday
  • (May 21 ~ June 24) ~ Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
  • (May 29 ~ July 2) ~ Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
  • June 24 ~ Nativity of Saint John the Baptist
  • June 29 ~ Saints Peter and Paul
  • (November 20 – 26) ~ Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

Then there are Feasts, Memorials, Seasonal Weekdays and Ferias. Good heavens!