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Whit Monday, also known as a Pentecost Monday is a Christian holiday and it’s celebrated after Pentecost, aka. Whit Sunday. This public holiday commemorates the descent of the Holy Ghost upon the disciples of Jesus Christ.
In the Eastern Orthodox Church is known as “Monday of the Holy Spirit” and it is dedicated to the honor of God the Holy Spirit and his descent upon the apostles at Pentecost.
Pentecost also marks the birth of the Christian Church. It is not certain when it was first observed, but may have been early as the first century.
The name Pentecost comes from the Greek pentekoste meaning fiftieth. Ministers and Priests usually wear red to symbolize the fire which brought the Holy Spirit to earth. Other common symbols are the wind (the breath of God) and a dove (peace).
In some Orthodox churches, Whit Monday is observed after the date set by the western churches. This is because some Eastern Orthodox churches still observe holidays according to the Julian calendar.
Whit Monday customs in Europe
- In Lichtenstein Whit Monday is considered to be the “most favorite” holiday like Christmas is in many countries of the Western world.
- In Germany and Austria, people mark the Second Day of Pentecost with various local and regional customs.
- In France, families normally gather outdoors for picnics and sports while many villages hold festivals in honor of the holiday. The day is meant to be celebrated with family, friends, food, and wine.
- In Greece, the holiday is an excuse for plenty of festivities and a three-day public holiday getaway for a lot of Greeks.
- In Norway, it is quite popular to spend time outdoors or in the garden with family or friends.