Much of people's social life in Congo revolves around special events, including weddings, baptisms, funerals and holidays. Village celebrations are held for seasonal events, such as the end of the harvest, or for special occasions, such as honouring the dead. Most traditional festivals are based on the lunar calendar. Festivities vary from region to region, but usually include a meal, followed by singing and traditional African dancing, known as luntuku, in which the dancers form a circle.

 Secular holidays are sometimes marked with parades and colourful displays by regional folkloric troupes. Because of political and economic troubles, however, these celebrations are becoming rare. The dates and nature of many national holidays depends on who is in power.

On Parents' Day, people honour their dead ancestors. The spirits of those who have died are thought to watch over family members. Individual clans can usually trace their origins to a particular ancestor. Ancestors are also considered to be the true owners of family land. Living descendants are allowed to benefit from the land, but not to sell it. On Parents' Day, people go to cemeteries to tidy and decorate family graves, setting fires to burn away the tall grasses that obscure the grave markers. Often they enjoy a meal at the site, then return home to eat with their children.
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At traditional Congolese religious or ceremonial functions, diviners wear face masks (hemba), along with a costume (nsaka) made of dried banana leaves or touraco feathers. They act out the will of ancestors and supernatural forces.
Christians in Congo celebrate Christmas and Easter. Those who can afford it will serve a large meal with roast beef or goat. Muslim holidays include Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Kabir and Maulud-un-Nabi. Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the fasting period of Ramadan. Eid al- Kabir (sometimes known as Eid al-Adha) is the high point of the Hajj season when some Muslims go on pilgrimage to Mecca. Maulud un-Nabi celebrates the birth of prophet Mohammed. The dates of these holidays are based on the lunar calendar, and vary from year to year.
January 1 New Year's Day
January 4 Commemoration of the Martyrs of Independence
May 1 Labour Day 
June 30 Independence Day 
August 1 Parents' Day 
December 25  Christmas Day