What and When is Whitsun?

What does the word Whitsun mean?

Whitsun means “white Sunday”. Whitsun is commonly referred to by Christians as Pentecost and is therefore the same thing as Whitsun.

When is Whitsun?

Whitsun is observed on the seventh (7th) Sunday after Easter Sunday.

Whitsun next falls on Sunday 8th June 2014 (based on the calculation of when Easter falls).

The following was compiled from a list of Whitsun Monday dates via Wikipedia:

  • 2014 June 8th
  • 2015: May 24th
  • 2016: May 15th
  • 2017: June 4th
  • 2018: May 20th
  • 2019: June 9th
  • 2020: May 31st

What does the word Pentecost mean?

Pentecost is a Greek word meaning the fiftieth (50th) day after Easter ends.

The meaning behind Whitsun/Pentecost

After the perceived death of Jesus Christ, this marks the coming of the Holy Spirit and an important time of reflection for Christians.

The link with May Spring Bank Holiday

The second of the 2 May Bank Holidays follows Whitsun – the week is known as Whitsuntide. This does not always coincide with the correct day of Whitsun and of Whitsuntide however the 2nd May Bank Holiday remains around the end of May.

Whit Monday

Whit Monday is also known as Pentecost Monday and Monday of the Holy Spirit. Whit Monday follows on the day immediately after Whitsun and is determined by the date of Easter (as is Whitsun).

Whit Monday gets its English name for following “Whitsun”, the day that became one of the three baptismal seasons.

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