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Religious feast days

Traditionally, Christian feasts may be divided into four categories:

1. Sundays
2. Feasts associated with the death and resurrection of Jesus
3. Christmas and Epiphany
4. Saints’ feast days

In Switzerland, the Catholic Church officially follows the complex structure of the Roman church year, which includes many saints, feasts and special occasions. The Reformed Church only celebrates the major Christian events such as Christmas, Easter, Pentecost and the Ascension as well as a few other special feasts. Different feasts are observed in the cantons depending on whether they are traditionally Catholic or Protestant.

The important Christian feasts are among the rare occasions when attendance at Catholic and Protestant churches is at its highest. This is because most people consider attending the religious service as an important part of the feast day. In Swiss society Christmas is considered by far as the most important feast day. However, the public is more interested in the popular rituals, such as the Christmas tree, the Advent Calendar, Santa Claus and presents, rather than Christian rituals.

D 8 October 2012    AJoëlle Sanchez AJörg Stolz

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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