Holy Days and Celebrations
The main holy day for Mormons is Sunday, which is considered the Sabbath. Orthodox Mormons will observe the spirit of the Sabbath Day, which means generally no work, no spending money, in some families no homework for school children, and usually no entertainment such as going to birthday parties or football games. It is a day ‘sanctified to the Lord’. For many Mormon families, Monday is reserved for Family Home Evening, when they spend the evening together in spiritual instruction, training, and participating in wholesome games and activities. Inaugurated by the Church in 1915, this is seen as a way to help parents prepare their children for responsible living.
Easter and Christmas are the main religious celebrations for the LDS Church. These dates commemorate the birth and death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, as in other Christian denominations. Though Mormons are avid participants in holiday ‘good cheer’, they tend to focus more on the religious aspects of these festivals than on their secular customs. In the United States, July 24 is celebrated as Pioneer Day, the date of the arrival of Brigham Young and his followers in the Great Salt Lake Valley. It is a celebration mainly among Utah Mormons, where it is a state and Church holiday, with parades, fireworks, rodeos, feasts, dances, and excursions.