Pentecost is one of the most significant dates of the Christian calendar. Pentecost commemorates the coming of the Holy Spirit to the disciples following the death of Jesus Christ. The first Pentecost marked the beginning of the Christian church as an official, meaningful movement. Therefore, Pentecost is widely considered as the birthday of Christianity.
The word Pentecost is derived from the Greek word ‘Pentakostos’ which means ‘50’. The festival is celebrated on the seventh Sunday after Easter, marking the 50th day from the final Sabbath of Passover. Therefore, Pentecost falls on different date each year.
Pentecost is also known as Whitsun because traditionally the church referred to the celebrations as Whitsun or Whit Sunday. The name is used particularly in Britain and Ireland. It is believed that Pentecost was a day of baptisms when participants dressed in white. The word ‘Whitsun’ is believed to derive from the Anglo-Saxon word ‘wit’ which means ‘understanding’ to celebrate the disciples who were filled with the wisdom of the Holy Spirit.