Pentecost, also known as Whitsunday, will be celebrated on June 5 this year. The word has its roots in the Greek word ‘pentecoste,’ which means ‘50th day.’ Pentecost is a major festival in the Christian church and is celebrated by believers on the Sunday that falls on the 50th day of Easter. This day is marked by Catholic priests dressing up in red robes and draping the altar of the church in red cloth. Believers would often choose to get baptized on Pentecost, and today it has become the most common day for baptism. Simply put, Pentecost marks the beginning of the Christian church’s mission to the world.
If you were to read the Old Testament, you will discover that Pentecost started off as a Jewish celebration. Only, the Jews didn’t call it Pentecost —it was known as the Feast of Harvest or the Feast of Weeks. The day celebrated the beginning of the early weeks of the wheat harvest. This meant that Pentecost was always celebrated during the middle of the month of May or occasionally in early June.
According to the Old Testament, the 50th day of Easter would be the Day of Pentecost. Since 50 days also equals seven weeks, Pentecost later came to be known as “week of weeks”. Therefore, some believers also celebrate the day as the Feast of Harvest or the Feast of Weeks.
But we no longer celebrate Pentecost the way they did before. Today, the day is commemorated as the moment in history when Christ ascended to heaven. Catholics believe that, on this day, the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles and other disciples following the crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of Christ. For Catholics, it is the day when Christ burst forth and promised his followers that God will forever protect them. Pentecost is also celebrated as the day to honor devout Catholics and their faith.
5 Mind Blowing Facts about Pentecost
- It was originally a Jewish festivalAccording to the Old Testament, Pentecost started off as a Jewish festival.
- It also marked the season of new harvestPentecost was also celebrated to mark the early weeks of the wheat harvest — wheat was harvested in the early weeks of May.
- Bread is offered on this dayFresh loaves of bread made with the newly harvested wheat are offered by the high priest on Pentecost.
- It used to be a holidayCenturies ago, Pentecost was a day of celebration and rest — schools and shops were closed.
- Pentecost was a pilgrim festivalJewish men would gather in Jerusalem in large numbers to celebrate the proceedings of the