In different parts of the world, Pentecost or Whit Sunday has become a traditional day where baptism takes place. During this day, people enjoy picnics, outings to the country, and some family gatherings. In Poland, Whit Sunday or Pentecost is called “The Green Holiday” and during this holiday, the locals in Poland decorates their houses with green branches because they believed that it will bring blessings to them and into their home. But what exactly is Whit Sunday and how did it start? we are going to get to know more about it in this article.
What is Whit Sunday?
According to the New Testament of the Bible, Whit Sunday is on the 50th day after Easter and it is also the same day where the apostles prayed together and the Holy Spirit descended on them. Jesus Christ’s apostles received the gift of tongues from the Holy Spirit and they all had the ability to speak fluently in another language. The apostles used their gift and immediately began to preach about Jesus Christ to Jewish people from all the people in different parts of the world who came to Jerusalem for the Feast of Shavuot.
In Christian Pentecost, Whit Sunday or the Pentecost is not just the commemoration of the Holy spirit’s visit, it also marks the foundation of the Christian Church. Some say that the Christians began observing the Pentecost as early as the first century.
According to church tradition, the Pentecost or Whit Sunday is always observed seven weeks after Easter Sunday, or fifty days after Easter. But in some Orthodox churches, Whit Sunday is observed after the days that was set by the western churches. Most of the western churches follow the Gregorian calendar when it comes to celebrating their holidays but some Orthodox churches still followthe Julian calendar. And to some, this may cause some confusion because the Easter date depends on the religious estimate of the March equinox.
Back in the 17th century in Manchester, the Kersal Moor Whit races became popular to the people. It is an event of the year when several people turned Kersal Moor into a giant fairground for a couple of days.
In Iceland, they call the holiday Whitsun or hvitasuuna and in their country, it is common for children to be confirmed during Whitsun. Whitsun is the day where fourteen-year-old Icelandic children confirmtheir faith in God before they enter adulthood. It is also a centuries-old tradition in Iceland that young women of the parish comes to church in their white dresses during the observation of the said holiday. After Whitsun, Iceland also celebrates Whit Monday where it is a public holiday.
While in the North West of England, chapel and churches had parades in which they call the whit walks. The parade features choirs and brass bands. The girls who are joining the parade are all expected to be dressed in white. And in Whaddon, Cambridgeshire people celebrate Whitsun with a tradition of singing a unique song around the village before the day of the Whit Sunday itself.