Whit Sunday also is known as Pentecost Sunday is a Christian celebration which falls on the seventh Sunday after Easter. Pentecost 2019 or Whitsun 2019 falls on June 9 this year. Christians observe Pentecost which marks the descent of the Holy Spirit on Christ’s disciples.
It means 50th as it is a feast celebrated on the 50th day after the Passover feast by the Jews. It is also the feast observed by Christians on the 50th day after the feast of the Resurrection.
The Jewish Pentecost was a post-harvest thanksgiving feast, later it came to be included in remembrance of God’s Covenants with Noah and Moses. Pentecost or Whitsunday is one of the main observances of Christians. While Christmas celebrates the birthday of Jesus Christ in his physical body, Pentecost is considered the birthday of the Church, for those born again into Christ’s spiritual body.
The Jewish Pentecost
Both the Jews and Christians celebrate Pentecost. During the Jewish Pentecost, every male Jew living within twenty miles of Jerusalem was legally bound to go up to Jerusalem to participate in the feast. Jewish Pentecost is also known by the name Shebuot or Shavuot (The Feast of Weeks).
The Christian Pentecost
For Christians, Pentecost marks the end and the goal of the Easter season. It is the day when the Holy Spirit descended on the apostles in the form of different tongues. It took place fifty days after the Resurrection of Jesus. The feats also commemorate the inauguration of the Christian Chruch by apostles.
Celebrations attached to Pentecost or White Sunday
Whitsun is celebrated by following various tradition and cultures in different countries. In England, traditionally, Pentecost celebrations are combined with pagan celebrates on Summer’s Day. Christians around the world observe the day by attending special church services. It is believed to be the day recognising God’s gift of Holy Spirit which was given to believers.
The name Whit Sunday comes from ‘White Sunday’, that draws reference to the Old English homilies that stated: ‘The Holy Ghost, whom thou didst send on Whit-sunday.’ The name Whitsun is used mostly in Britain and Ireland other than Anglicans and Methodists.