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Whit Sunday in France

Many Christians in France mark the Holy Spirit's descent onto Jesus' followers on Pentecost Sunday (Pentecôte). People may attend special church services or spend the day with family or friends.

White Dove
The dove symbolizes the Holy Spirit. Images of this symbol can be seen around the time of Pentecost, also known as Whit Sunday.
The dove symbolizes the Holy Spirit. Images of this symbol can be seen around the time of Pentecost, also known as Whit Sunday.

What Do People Do?

Many Christians in France attend a special church service on Pentecost Sunday to celebrate the Holy Spirit's descent on Jesus Christ's followers. People blow trumpets during the service in some churches. The sound reminds them of the mighty wind that blew when the Holy Spirit descended onto Jesus' followers. People are baptized or re-baptized on Pentecost Sunday in other churches.

Other people spend Pentecost Sunday in a similar way to other Sundays. They may stay at home, take a walk in a park or the countryside or eat a meal of veal with family members or friends. Many people eat a picnic lunch outdoors. Pentecost Monday, which is the day after Pentecost Sunday, is a public holiday so some people take a short vacation over the long Pentecost weekend, perhaps to visit the family gîte (small house in the countryside).

Public Life

Public life is generally very quiet, as on other Sundays, on Pentecost Sunday. Post offices, banks, stores and other businesses are closed. Outside of tourist areas, restaurants and cafes may be closed. However, some stores in Paris, as well as at airports and railway stations and along major highways, may be open. Public transport service schedules vary depending on where one lives and intends to travel.

Museums that are normally open on Sunday may be closed while others may remain open. Churches may be closed for visitors who do not wish to take part in the services and guided tours may not be available.

More information

Some aspects of Pentecost are linked to the Jewish holiday of Shavuot. Read more about how people in Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States celebrate Pentecost.

About Whit Sunday in other countries

Read more about Whit Sunday.

Whit Sunday Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday Type
SunMay 232010Whit SundayObservance
SunJun 122011Whit SundayObservance
SunMay 272012Whit SundayObservance
SunMay 192013Whit SundayObservance
SunJun 82014Whit SundayObservance
SunMay 242015Whit SundayObservance
SunMay 152016Whit SundayObservance
SunJun 42017Whit SundayObservance
SunMay 202018Whit SundayObservance
SunJun 92019Whit SundayObservance
SunMay 312020Whit SundayObservance

Quick Facts

Pentecost Sunday is 50 days after Easter Sunday. It marks the Holy Spirit's descent onto Jesus' followers, according to Christian belief.

Whit Sunday 2016

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Whit Sunday 2017

Sunday, June 4, 2017


Name in other languages

Whit SundayEnglish
Første pinsedagNorwegian

Alternative name

Pentecost Sunday

List of dates for other years

Related holiday

Other holidays in May 2016 in France

United Nation Holiday on May 15, 2016

Fun Holiday on May 15, 2016

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