What is Whit-Sunday?
Whit-Sunday is known as Pentecost and is related to another festival of Christianity, Easter. The date of the festival changes every year according to the celebration of Easter.
Whit-Sunday or Whitsun is celebrated after 50 days of Easter. It is considered a holy day as the Holy Spirits chose this day to descend on earth. It was also the day when the church’s mission was started to spread Christianity around the world.
Whit-Sunday All Quick Overview
- Time/Date: 28th May
- Category: Religious
- Where It’s Marked: Canada, USA, UK
- Why It’s Marked: The apostles began to speak in tongues when the Holy Spirit descended, according to the "New Testament." Saint Peter used this occasion to address the crowd and preach the first Christian sermon.
History of Whit-Sunday
The celebration of Whitsunday is significant because the day commemorates several important events. Even though historians couldn't point to when Christians began celebrating Whit-Sunday, it can be traced back to the second century.
According to the Acts of the Apostles, on the fifty-first day following Easter, the apostles gathered in prayer when the Holy Spirit bestowed upon them. After this phenomenon, the apostles were given the capacity to communicate in another language known as the “gift of tongues” or “tongues of fire.”
At that Holy moment, the apostles spoke in a language they had never learned. They started preaching about God- Jesus Christ. And their speech became understandable to the Jews, and the church's mission to spread Christianity was initiated at that very moment.
The Jews attended the festival of Shavuot. They used to celebrate the day to thank their creator for the wheat harvest. But after the event mentioned above, the festival transformed into the Whit-Sunday.
At the beginning of the second and third centuries, the fifty days after Easter was referred to as Pentecost. The word comes from a Greek word for the fifth day. After a few centuries, the festival was limited to one day, which is Whit Sunday.
The significance of calling it Whitsun or Whit Sunday is that the day was famous for baptism. And after being baptized, people would wear white clothes. Many people started gathering at the church wearing white garments on a Sunday, commemorating the guidance of the Holy Spirit, soon referred to as Whit-Sunday.
How to Celebrate Whit-Sunday?
Catholic celebration of Whit-Sunday is to honor and reminisce the moment when Jesus blessed this sinful earth with his Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit, the church we know will be nothing but an artifact.
Therefore, every year the day is considered the church’s birthday, and every Catholic Church observes this day respectfully and reciting from the Holy Bible.
The best way to know about the history of Whit-Sunday and celebrate it accurately is to attend the events your church is arranging. And you can also do the following activities.
1. Bake a Cake
Since the Whitsun is the beginning of the church's activity, it can be regarded as the church's birthday. You and your neighbors can bake cakes for all the people gathering for prayers.
2. Pray All Day Long
Whitsun can be the most appropriate day for all the followers of Jesus to pray as they found their God and a place to pray and confess their sins on this day. Therefore, you can pray and recite Holy Bible all day long and express your gratitude for the blessings you have received in your life.
3. Decorate with Rose Petals
Rose petals are often decorated at the pinata and shower from the church roof to recreate the Holy Spirit who descended on the Apostles. On Whit-Sunday, you can help decorate the church with rose petals, candles, and white doves.
4. Learn a New Prayer
In our busy life schedule, we hardly find time to sit peacefully and pray with mindfulness. Whit-Sunday is the day to go to church and learn a new verse from the Bible that you can hold with yourself all your life.
Countries that celebrate Whit-Sunday
Whit-Sunday is a public holiday in Canada, the UK, and the USA. However, the followers of the Catholic church across the world also celebrate the day.
Interesting facts about Whit-Sunday
Spirituality is the most fantastic fact about Whitsun. To quench your thirst, here are some more.
- After the blessing of the Holy Spirit, Peter was the first apostle to convince people to be baptized. Around 3000 people were baptized and started their journey of following the guidance of Jesus.
- On this day, red is usually the color of the priest's robe and the cloth that covers the altar. The color red represents the event of the gift of God - “Tongues of fire.”
- Virgin Mary was also one of the Apostles. She was waiting at the center surrounding the apostles and honored as a bridge to connect with God.
- Hymns written by Charles Wesley are often the signing prayer on this day in western churches. They sign- “ Spirit of Faith Come Down” or “Come Holy Ghost Our Hearts Inspire.”
Unique Whit-Sunday Celebration Ideas
Since it is a religious festival, most of the activities of this day are based on the church’s activities and events. However, you can still celebrate Whit-sunday wearing white clothing and doing the following actions:
- It is mentioned in the Old Testament that people heard the sound of wind after receiving blessings from the Holy Spirit. To commemorate the event, you can make paper windmills and hang them outside your home.
- The flames of fire are often used to depict the event of the Holy Spirit when they descended from heaven. You can make a fire ribbon with red and orange stripes and hang them from the ceiling to represent the event.
- Dove is used to decoring the home and church on this day. Making origami doves will help you to teach your kids about the history and significance of Whit-Sunday.
- In many countries, dancers wear red dresses shaped like the flames of fire and attend the festival of Whitsun. You can make one for yourself and learn how to dance to celebrate the holiday.
Whit-Sunday reminds us to be thankful for the gift God has given us. His guidance through the Bible and the Church to pray to him with peace. Here are some quotes for you to share with your friends and family.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses.”- Acts 1:8a (ESV)
“Pentecost is the moment when a heart of stone is shattered, and a heart of flesh takes its place.”- Father Raniero Cnatalamessa
“Yes, I think especially the pentecostal churches, you know, that there’s been such a growth in Pentecostalism. And it’s a rejection of the much more dour and barren kind of Calvinist worship and the very formal Catholic forms of worship”- Barbara Ehrenreich
“They saw what seemed to be Tongue of Fire that separated & came to rest on each of them.”- Acts 2:3
“Father of Light, from whom every good gift comes, send your Spirit into our lives with the power of a mighty wind, and by the flame of your wisdom open the horizons of our minds.”- Morning Prayer, Pentecost.
1. What does whit mean in Whit Sunday?
Whit means White in the name of the Whit-Sunday. People wear white clothing after baptism, and Whit-Sunday is a popular day for baptism worldwide.
2. Why is Whit-Sunday so-called?
Whit means white, and the holiday is celebrated 50 days after Easter Sunday, which has to be another Sunday. Therefore, the holiday is called Whit-Sunday.
3. Is Whit-Sunday the same as Pentecost?
The Whit-Sunday was previously known as Pentecost, a 50-day-long festival. Eventually, the festival was observed on the day of the Pentecost only. Therefore they are the same.
4. Is Whitsun a religious holiday?
Yes, Whitsun is a religious holiday observed by the followers of the Catholic church.
Whit Sunday Observances
|2021||Sunday||23 May||Whit Sunday|
|2022||Sunday||05 June||Whit Sunday|
|2023||Sunday||28 May||Whit Sunday|
|2024||Sunday||19 May||Whit Sunday|
|2025||Sunday||08 June||Whit Sunday|
|2026||Sunday||24 May||Whit Sunday|
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