This year, Pentecost, also known as Whitsunday, will be observed on May 28. The term originates from the Greek word pentecoste, which means ‘fiftyth day.’ Pentecost is a significant festival in the Christian church, and it is observed on the Sunday that falls 50 days after Easter. This day is commemorated by Catholic priests donning red robes and covering the altar in crimson cloth. In the past, Pentecost was a popular day for believers to get baptised; today, it is the most common day for baptism. Simply stated, Pentecost marks the beginning of the worldwide mission of the Christian church.
HISTORY OF PENTECOST
If you peruse the Old Testament, you will learn that Pentecost was originally a Jewish festival. The Jews, however, did not call it Pentecost; they called it the Feast of Harvest or the Feast of Weeks. The holiday marked the commencement of the wheat harvest’s initial weeks. This meant that Pentecost was always observed in the middle of May or, on rare occasions, in early June.
According to the Old Testament, Pentecost would occur on the 50th day after Easter. Since 50 days equals seven weeks, Pentecost became known as the “week of weeks” over time. Consequently, some Christians also refer to this day as the Feast of Harvest or the Feast of Weeks.
However, we no longer observe Pentecost as they once did. Today, this date is commemorated as the historical moment when Christ ascended into heaven. Catholics believe that on this day, after Christ’s crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension, the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles and other disciples. For Catholics, this day commemorates Christ’s birth and his promise to his disciples that God will eternally protect them. Additionally, Pentecost is observed as a day to honour devout Catholics and their faith.
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5 MIND-BLOWING FACTS ABOUT PENTECOST
Originally, it was a Jewish holiday
Initially, according to the Old Testament, Pentecost was a Jewish festival.
It was also the beginning of the harvest season.
Pentecost was also celebrated to commemorate the beginning of the wheat harvest, which occurred in the beginning of May.
The offering of bread on this day
On Pentecost, the high priest offers freshly baked loaves of bread prepared from newly harvested wheat.
It was once a holiday
Historically, Pentecost was a day of celebration and leisure, with schools and businesses closed.
Pentecost was a pilgrimage celebration.
Jewish men would gather in significant numbers in Jerusalem to celebrate the day’s events.