Some people wonder what actually happened at Pentecost. The holiday celebrates the birth of the Christian church.

Pentecost is also called the “sending of the Holy Spirit” because the Holy Spirit is celebrated on this day.

Whit Monday is one of the most important church holidays, not only in Germany. After Easter and Christmas, Pentecost is the third important festival in the church year and a symbol of creativity and new beginnings.

Easter Lent ends with the “Feast of the Holy Spirit”. Pentecost is exactly the 50th day after Easter. Accordingly, the name “Pentecost” is derived from the Greek word “pentekoste,” which means “the fiftieth.”

The disciples are said to have received the Holy Spirit 50 days after Jesus’ death. As a result, they suddenly mastered new languages ​​and were supposed to use them to spread the word of God. This event is also known as the “Pentecost miracle”. This is where the community of the Christian church begins. The Holy Spirit connects and fills believers worldwide.

Until the 4th century, Pentecost was also used to celebrate the Ascension Day. Over time, this day developed into a separate holiday, which is now ten days before Pentecost.

The origin of Pentecost most likely lies in the Jewish festival of Shavuot, which is also celebrated 50 days after Passover. The Jewish Thanksgiving festival celebrates the gift of the Torah.

The Acts of the Apostles also says that the disciples were celebrating the festival of Shavuot and were gathered in Jerusalem when the Holy Spirit seized them.

In German-speaking countries, Whit Monday is a public holiday on which schools and shops remain closed. However, this is not the case in all Christian countries.

At Pentecost, church services often take place in the open air in the Christian church. Other customs include planting Pentecost trees, Pentecost fires, peonies and leading decorated oxen.

The symbol of Pentecost is often a white dove, which represents the Holy Spirit. In the Bible, however, the dove plays no role; instead, fire and flames symbolize the festival of Pentecost, as tongues of flame descended on Jesus’ disciples. This also gave rise to the expression “being on fire”.