From August through December, Louisianians can be extremely busy. Fall, y’all, means back to school shopping and early morning carpools.

There are also Saturday football tailgating from Baton Rouge to Hammond, soccer tournaments and church parish festivals. Sunday means Mass, jambalaya cook-offs and, of course, the New Orleans Saints. And sprinkled among that crowded schedule are a number of holidays – BIG ONES: Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.

And, for Catholics, there is also an extremely busy liturgical calendar. From Aug. 1 through Dec. 31, there are a total of 49 solemnities, feasts and memorials, and one Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Soul’s Day), according to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops calendar (usccb.org).

According to catholicand
cultures.org, the Catholic Church bases its liturgical year around “feasts and remembrances … to regularly call to mind the life of Jesus and the witness of Mary and the saints.”

The most important of the feast days are solemnities, which mark the most significant events in Jesus’ life, his mother and “those most closely united to him in the work of salvation, such as St. Joseph, St. John the Baptist and Sts. Peter and Paul,” states aleteia.org.

These days are similar to Sundays though they are not always holy days of obligation.

Next in the hierarchy are the feast days, which mark events of lesser significance in the life of Jesus such as the Transfiguration. Feast days also celebrate significnt events in the life of Mary and “key figures of the early church,” according to aleteia.org.

At the bottom of the feast day celebrations are memorials, the most prevalent way of remembering saints and events during Mass.

“When the Church keeps the memorials of martyrs and other saints during the annual cycle, she proclaims the paschal mystery in those ‘who have suffered and have been glorified with Christ. She proposed them to the faithful as examples who draw all men to the Father through Christ, and through their merits she begs for God’s favors,’ ” according to Canon 1173 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

While some feast days may vary by country, all Catholics celebrate the Solemnity of the Nativity (Christmas), Lent, Holy Week and Easter, also called the “Feasts of feasts” and the “Solemnity of solemnities,” (CCC 1169). And, just like preparing for college football bowl games at the end of the year, Catholics can also go for the pinnacle and celebrate five consecutive feast days at the end of December: Christmas (25); the Feast of St. Stephen (26); Feast of St. John the Apostle (27); Feast of the Holy Innocents (28); and Feast of the Holy Family (29).