Pentecost is one of the most important Christian holidays. Although Whit Monday is a day off work for many, not every day of Whitsun is legally designated as a public holiday. Find out here who is free on Pentecost and when it is considered an official holiday.

Many people are looking forward to a long weekend at the end of May. Because most employees have time off and don’t have to work. Nevertheless, different legal requirements apply to Whit Sunday and Whit Monday.

This year Pentecost is from May 19th, 2024 (Whitsun Sunday) to May 20th, 2024 (Whitsun Monday). The holidays vary every year, as Pentecost always falls on the 50th day after Easter and therefore depends on the first full moon of spring.

Whitsun Sunday is not a public holiday. This is important for those who have to work on May 20th, as employees do not receive a tax-free holiday bonus of 125 percent. You only get the Sunday surcharge of 50 percent.

One federal state makes an exception: Brandenburg has declared Whit Sunday a public holiday, so that employees then receive the holiday bonus.

Whit Monday, May 20, 2023, is a public holiday throughout Germany on which employees and students have the day off. Everyone who has to work on Monday receives the holiday bonus. Pentecost is not only free in Germany, but also in many other European countries, such as the Netherlands, France or Denmark.

Whit Monday has almost been abolished in some European countries – including Germany. In 1994, instead of the day of penance and prayer, Whit Monday was to be abolished as a public holiday. In 2005, some business associations also called for Whit Monday to be abolished as a public holiday, but were unable to achieve this. In France, Whit Monday was actually abolished for a few years in 2005 until a report found that most workers took Whit Monday off anyway.