Whit Monday in United Kingdom May 16th 2016


Many Christians in the United Kingdom observe Whit Monday, also known as Pentecost Monday, on the day after Pentecost, which is also known as Whitsunday or Whit Sunday. This period commemorates the Holy Spirit’s descent on Jesus Christ’s disciples, as told in the Christian Bible.

Holy Cross with Dove of Peace
The dove (image pictured above) often symbolizes the Holy Spirit.
©iStockphoto.com/Christopher Pollack

What Do People Do?

Many Christians in the United Kingdom observe Whit Monday and Whit Sunday, also known as Pentecost or Pentecost Sunday, by remembering the Holy Spirit’s descent on Jesus’ disciples and the events that followed, which are told in the New Testament of the Christian Bible.

Church events that observe Whit Monday may include evening services and bible group meetings. Whit Monday was once a bank holiday in the United Kingdom but the bank holiday is now allocated to the spring bank holiday on the last Monday of May.

Public Life

Whit Monday is not a bank holiday in the United Kingdom. However, some educational institutions may close on Whit Monday so it is advised to check with these institutions about the days when they are closed.

Background

Whit Monday used to be a bank holiday in the United Kingdom. However, the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971, moved this bank holiday to the last Monday in May, following a trial period of this arrangement from 1965 to 1970. Whit Monday follows from Whit Sunday, also known as Whitsunday, Pentecost or Pentecost Sunday, which is a popular time for baptisms among some Christian churches.

The Pentecost period commemorates the Holy Spirit’s coming to Jesus’ disciples, which is recorded in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. Many Christians see this event as the beginning of the Christian church. Past Whit Monday activities that have occurred in the United Kingdom include Whit Monday pilgrimages in areas such as Walsingham. The Pentecost date is usually determined in line with the Easter date. The Easter date depends on the ecclesiastical approximation of the March equinox.

Symbols

The symbols of the Pentecost period are those of the Holy Spirit and include flames, wind, and a dove.

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