Fundamental #13

What Are the Holy Days and Festivals?

Fundamental #13

Memory Scripture

Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: “The feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts.”—Leviticus 23:2


Summary Statement

The Bible describes seven “feasts” that take place each year. They’re set aside by God to be special times of worship. In the Old Testament, the word feast has the meaning of keeping an important appointment or meeting. In the New Testament, sometimes the word festival is used.

All seven feasts are listed in Leviticus 23. They were first recorded in the Bible by Moses, but they are not just Israelite or Jewish feasts. They are God’s feasts. Jesus Christ continued to keep these feasts, as did His apostles and the New Testament Church after His death and resurrection. All together, the feasts of God reveal a picture of what He is planning for all people on into the future. And based on what we learn in the Bible, they will continue to be observed even after Jesus Christ’s return to earth.


Begin Your Study

Read through the memory scripture together with your children, then read through the summary statement (remember to simplify the statement, if necessary). Have your children cut and paste the summary statement from this page in their “Fundamentals Bible Study Journal” (as suggested in the Memorizing Scripture resource “The Fundamentals”).

Next have your children write the memory scripture, Leviticus 23:2. There are some words in this verse that we don’t use very much these days! What is a feast? Is that like a festival? Is it the same as a holy day? Then what is a holiday?

What does the Bible say about all these words?

The Bible has a lot to say about what is holy, including what God has set apart to be holy time, like the Sabbath. So because these are special days set apart by God, they have also traditionally been called “holy days.” 

They certainly are holy, because they are God’s feasts and set in place by Him, but they don’t all take place on holy time. Some of the feasts last an entire week, for example, but only have one or two holy days in them. The Feast of Unleavened Bread is seven days long, but only the first day and the seventh day are set apart by God as holy time. The Feast of Tabernacles is also seven days long, but only the first day is set apart as a holy day. And then there’s Passover, which is a festival but not a holy day.

And none of these should be confused with national holidays, like Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter. Holidays are not holy days set apart by God. 

In the Bible, God’s special times of worship are called feasts or festivals. All together, they tell a story of what God has done, is doing, and will do for all of humanity. Locate the excellent lesson “God’s Plan and Purpose for Humanity” (in the Word of God section) and go through each festival’s brief description with your children. Discuss the importance of God’s festivals and how they connect to God’s purpose for people!


Digging Deeper Interaction #1

Review Leviticus 23:2 with your children. Tell them that today they will be able to make their own books about the feasts of the Lord! To make a “Feasts of the Lord” book, start by choosing a scripture and drawing a picture for each of the festivals. When your children are finished, their books could be added to the family Sabbath box as a special Sabbath treat for everyone to read through together. (To find the instructions for the Sabbath box, see Fundamental #11.)


Digging Deeper Interaction #2

Begin today by having your children say the memory scripture, Leviticus 23:2, and see if they can name all seven festivals! Then as a family, decide on special traditions for each feast. This could include making a special family unleavened bread recipe book and having an unleavened bread baking party, making a countdown (or up!) chain for Pentecost, buying a special fall holy day gift for a member of the congregation, joining the children’s choir at the Feast of Tabernacles, and so on! This would make a great discussion for a family Sabbath meal.


Bible Story: Movie Night!

Watch the “Feasts of the Lord” video series on the Life, Hope & Truth website (you can find it at in the Learning Center).

Additional EEI lessons on each festival can also be found in our Word of God section. Or just type “festivals of God” in the EEI website search bar.


Bonus Ideas

There are several New Testament scriptures that support keeping God’s feasts. If you’ve read through the resource “God’s Plan and Purpose for Humanity,” then you’ve already found quite a few! Have your children choose one or two additional scriptures in the New Testament about people keeping the festivals to add to their “Fundamentals Bible Study Journal.” 

Reinforce what you and your children have learned about the festivals with the “God’s Festivals Pocket Sorter,” located in the Additional Resources section.

Locate the flash cards for the “Holy Day Card Game” in the Additional Resources section and see how many new games you can create!


Wrap-up Activity

To create this week’s poster, on a piece of card stock, have your children draw a path from one corner of the page to the other. They can color it too, if they wish! Have them record each of God’s feasts along the path and write the memory scripture on the poster. Choose a place in the house to display the poster.

To end your study, have your children recite the memory scripture for a small audience, perhaps for a church friend or at a special festival group meal.

Further Your Study

The Fundamentals

The Fundamentals

Kids are well-known for asking lots of questions. Wouldn’t it be great to have some answers and scriptures already prepared? Our “Fundamentals” series asks the basic questions of life and provides scriptures to memorize for the Read More >

God’s Plan & Purpose for Humanity

God’s Plan & Purpose for Humanity

Review God’s step-by-step plan of salvation for all of humanity by being reminded of the meanings and fulfillment of each of the annual festivals outlined in Leviticus 23. See how all seven festivals fit together to provide a complete Read More >

God’s Festivals Pocket Sorter

God’s Festivals Pocket Sorter

Using some basic office and teaching supplies, assemble this fun teaching tool with your children. This is a great project to review your knowledge of all of God’s festivals.  Read More >

Holy Day Card Game

Holy Day Card Game

Print these festival flash cards on card stock to create multiple game possibilities. Play “Concentration,” matching games, sequencing games, and the list goes on. See our “Spring Festival Season Overview” lesson or our “Fall Read More >