The Christian holiday of Pentecost, which is celebrated the 49th day (the seventh Sunday) after Easter Sunday, commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus Christ while they were in Jerusalem celebrating the Feast of Weeks, as described in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 2:1–31).
The holiday is also called “White Sunday” or “Whitsunday” or “Whitsun”, especially in the United Kingdom, where traditionally the next day, Whit Monday, was also a public holiday (since 1971 fixed by statute on the last Monday in May). In German, Pentecost is called Pfingsten, developed through contracting the Greek term pen[te]k[os]te, and often coincides with scholastic holidays and the beginning of many outdoor and springtime activities, such as festivals and organized outdoor activities by youth organizations. The Monday after Pentecost is a legal holiday in many European countries. Since its date depends on the date of Easter, Pentecost is a “moveable feast“.
Pentecost is one of the Great Feasts of the Eastern Orthodox Church, a Solemnity in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church, a Festival in the Lutheran Churches, and a Principal Feast in the Anglican Communion. Many Christian denominations provide a special liturgy for this holy celebration.
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