Three religions are celebrating hope in a rare holiday crossover Jews, Christians, and Muslims all have holidays this weekend.
The first week of April of 2023 is a special moment among the three Abrahamic faith traditions–Judaism, Christianity, and Islam–as major annual observances will overlap this year. Muslims will be midway through their month-long observance of Ramadan, during which they purify their intentions, words, and actions. On April 2nd, Christians will celebrate Palm Sunday and the beginning of Holy Week leading up to redemption on Easter Sunday with the resurrection of Jesus. On April 5th, Jews will celebrate their liberation from bondage during the feast of Passover.
Easter-observing Christians commonly refer to the week before Easter as Holy Week, which in Western Christianity begins on Palm Sunday (marking the entrance of Jesus in Jerusalem), includes Spy Wednesday (on which the betrayal of Jesus is mourned), and contains the days of the Easter Triduum including Maundy Thursday, commemorating the Maundy and Last Supper, as well as Good Friday, commemorating the crucifixion and death of Jesus. In Eastern Christianity, the same days and events are commemorated with the names of days all starting with "Holy" or "Holy and Great"; and Easter itself might be called "Great and Holy Pascha", "Easter Sunday", "Pascha" or "Sunday of Pascha". In Western Christianity, Eastertide, or the Easter Season, begins on Easter Sunday and lasts seven weeks, ending with the coming of the 50th day, Pentecost Sunday. In Eastern Christianity, the Paschal season ends with Pentecost as well, but the leave-taking of the Great Feast of Pascha is on the 39th day, the day before the Feast of the Ascension.
A major Jewish holiday that celebrates the Biblical story of the Israelites' escape from slavery in Egypt. Pesach starts on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Nisan which is considered the first month of the Hebrew year. The Hebrew calendar is adjusted to align with the solar calendar in such a way that 15 Nisan always coincides with Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday. The Hebrew day starts and ends at sunset, so the holiday starts at sunset the day before. For example, in 2023, 15 Nisan coincides with Thursday, April 6. Therefore, Pesach starts at sundown Wednesday, April 5.
Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting (sawm), prayer, reflection, and community. A commemoration of Muhammad's first revelation, the annual observance of Ramadan is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam and lasts twenty-nine to thirty days, from one sighting of the crescent moon to the next.