Also known as
49 days after Easter
Pentecost is a Christian festival holiday celebrated on the Sunday 50 days after Easter. Its name comes from the Greek word pentekoste, which means "fiftieth." Pentecost commemorates the gift of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles and other believers and marks the beginning of the Christian church and its mission to the world.
According to the Bible, following the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus, his apostles were gathered together in Jerusalem during Shavuot, a Jewish wheat harvest festival. While together, the Holy Spirit descended onto their heads in the form of tongues of fire and enabled them to speak in foreign languages. It was the tradition of Jewish men to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem for Shavuot during these times, and some pilgrims heard the apostles speak in their languages and were amazed. Others thought the apostles had drunk too much wine, but the apostle Peter told them that was not the case and that they were imbued with the Holy Spirit.
It is unknown when exactly Pentecost officially started being observed in the church, but records of it being observed date to the second century, and it is now an important Christian holiday. Baptisms are a common part of the day, with baptizees often wearing white clothing afterward. Ministers regularly wear robes with red to signify the flames of the Holy Spirit.
How to Observe Pentecost
The following are some ways you could observe the day:
- Read the biblical account of the Pentecost in Acts 2.
- Watch The Visual Bible: Acts.
- Attend a church service.
- Get baptized.
- Make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.