[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. Judaism – IV. Early Christianity – V. Church History – VI. Liturgical and Practical Aspects
I. Religious Studies The words “feast” and “festival” (cf.
fête, festa, fiesta, Fest, etc.) derive from the Latin
dies). They refer to the calendar and also evoke the notion of the divine: a feast day is a special day set aside and dedicated to a certain supernatural being. “Feast” or “festival” can therefore be understood as synonyms for religious celebrations. To speak, for example, of Greek, Roman or Chinese festivals in this sense means to denote certain rituals that structure the liturgical year. The Jewish Passover (see II and III below) and the Christian Christmas are festivals in the same sense as the old Roman Lupercalia, the Great Dionysia or the Panathenians in Athens, the solar festival (
Inti Raïmi) among the Inca or the Chinese New Year festival. The various feasts appear as ritual proceedings that rhythmically configure the shared experience of time. The feasts occur repeatedly and compete with one another. They recur in longer or shorter periods of time if they are celebrated primarily by a community. In the case of the essential rituals of social integration, such as baptism, marriage ceremonies, and others, they accompany the situations of transition in the life of the individual (Rit…