Monday, May 28, 2007

Whit Monday

Today is the 3rd holiday in the month of May (have I mentioned that I love the holidays in Europe!!??). It is Whit Monday! I was not sure what that meant exactly, so I looked it up. Here ya go...

Whit Monday (also known as Hi Monday) is the holiday celebrated the day after Pentecost, a movable feast in the Christian calendar. It is movable because it depends upon the date of Easter.

Until recently, Whit Monday was a public holiday in Ireland, and was a bank holiday in the United Kingdom until 1967, when it was formally replaced by a fixed 'spring holiday' on the last Monday in May in 1971. It was also a public holiday in various former British colonies, especially in the Pacific. It is still a public holiday in some of the countries of the Commonwealth Caribbean.

Whit Monday gets its English name for following "Whitsun", the day that became one of the three baptismal seasons. The name "Whitsunday" is now generally attributed to the white garments formerly worn by the candidates for baptism on this feast. The Monday is also a holiday in France (though since 2005, the government wants it to be a "solidarity" day where people still go to work), Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Greece, Hungary, Belgium, The Netherlands, and several Scandinavian countries, there going under the name "PentecĂ´te" (fr), "Pentecoste" (it), "Pinse" (no, da), "Pingst" (sv), "Pfingsten" (de), "Pengschten" (lux) and "Pinksteren" (nl). Indeed, the official Danish name for the holiday is anden pinsedag (English: Second day of Pentecost). Denmark uses this tradition also around Easter and Christmas, celebrating both the Second day of Easter on the Monday after Easter, and the Second day of Christmas on December 26.

Whit Monday coincides Memorial Day in the US!

Happy Whit Monday and Happy Memorial Day! God bless the soldiers who fight so hard for our freedoms.

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