Whitsun Celebration: The Christian Holy Day of Pentecost commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit
One of the most important celebrations in Christianity is the Whitsun celebration. This event is also called the Pentecost and is considered a moving holiday. It happens exactly 50 days after Easter. During this day, people conduct various activities such as praying and meditating.
What is the Whitsun Celebration?
The official beginning of the Christian church is marked by the first ever Pentecost. Although the Pentecost is not as popular as Easter or Christmas, it still remains to be one of the most important dates in the Christian calendar. This festival commemorates the arrival of the holy spirit to the disciples of Christ after the death of Jesus Christ.
According to biblical accounts, the apostles gathered to celebrate the Jewish harvest festival of Shavuot, started to talk in foreign tongue, and then led the massed onlookers to believe that they were drunk. However, according to Saint Peter, the disciples were just inspired by the holy spirit. He preached the Christian sermon which prompted to the conversion and baptism of about 3,000 people.
This is why the Pentecost is celebrated. Another name for the Pentecost is Whitsun celebration.
History of the Whitsun Celebration
Since the Whitsun is one of the grandest and most important celebrations in Christianity, people hold high regards to this event. In fact, since it is a major event in one of the largest religions all over the world, it has a quite rich history.
Back in the days, since Whitsun celebration is the first holiday of the summer, it is considered by people to be one of their favorite holidays in the calendar. The Whit Sunday, in particular, is a time for celebration. Various fairs, parades, pageants, and fetes are held. The Whitsun ales and Morris danced in the south of England. Before the day of the celebration, posters advertising the festivities during the event are released.
The origin of Whitsun Celebration
Accounts from 1778 lists the following activities during the celebration of Whitsun:
- A punting match during the morning of Whit Monday.
- The first boat arrives in order to receive a guinea.
- A gold laced hat worth 30s is showcased in the afternoon of Whit Monday.
- Girls and young women run fine Holland ribbons and smock during the morning of Whit Tuesday.
- About six pairs of buckskin gloves are wrestled during the afternoon of Whit Tuesday.
Whitsun Celebration FAQs
What is the history of Whit Races?
During the 17th century in Manchester near Kersal Moor, Whit races were considered to be great events. Large numbers of people actually turn the area into a large fairground for several days. During the age of industrialization, even mills and factories were closed down to make way for the Whitsun celebration.
What is the history of Whit Monday?
The United Kingdom recognized Whit Monday as an official bank holiday in 1871. However, it lost this status in 1972 when the fixed Spring Bank Holiday started.
When is the Whitsun Celebration?
The upcoming Whitsun Celebration will happen on Sunday, 31 May (Eastern) and Sunday, June 7 (Western).
What does the word Pentecost mean?
The word Pentecost is derived from the Greek word that means 50. The reason for this is that the first ever Pentecost happened 50 days after the Easter celebration.
What is White Sunday or Whitsun?
The Whitsun is also called the White Sunday, which is yet another name for Pentecost. Hence, all these three terms pertain to the same event or celebration. The White Sunday is particularly being used in Ireland and Britain. Methodists call this the day.
Why were the Apostles gathered on the Whit Sunday?
As you may know already, the story of the Whitsun celebration tells that the apostles are gathered together. The reason for this gathering is that they are celebrating the Feast of Weeks which is actually a harvest festival.
Why do Pastors wear Red During Whit Sunday?
The traditional vestment color for the Pentecost celebration is red. Red is also worn during Good Friday, Palm Sunday, the feast days of martyrs, and the feasts of Our Lord’s Passion.
Are there any other special events on Pentecost?
Various baptisms and hold confirmations are held during the Pentecost. This is done to honor the symbolism of the beginning of the church. The baptism is actually held to welcome people into the Christianity religion. Similarly, the confirmation involves mostly teenagers who make their confession of faith before the church. They become full-pledged members after that.