Whit Monday in the United States

Many Christians in the United States will observe Whit Monday, or Pentecost Monday. It is the day after Pentecost, also known as Whit Sunday or Whitsunday, which commemorates the Holy Ghost's descent on Jesus Christ's disciples, according to the New Testament of the Bible.

Humble Wooden Cross with Bright Sunburst
Whit Monday follows Pentecost, which commemorates the descent of the Holy Ghost upon Jesus Christ's disciples according to Christian tradition.
Whit Monday follows Pentecost, which commemorates the descent of the Holy Ghost upon Jesus Christ's disciples according to Christian tradition.
©iStockphoto.com/tiburonstudios

What Do People Do?

Some churches in the United States organize Whit Monday prayer rallies, which include prayers and street marches. Many churches acknowledge Whit Monday as part of Whitsun Week, or Whitsuntide, which includes Whit Sunday, or Pentecost.

Public Life

Whit Monday is not a federal public holiday in the United States.

Background

Christian Pentecost commemorates the Holy Spirit’s visit to the apostles who received the “gift of tongues” on the 50th day after Easter.  It also marks the birth of the Christian Church. Although it is not certain when Pentecost was first observed by Christians, it may have been early as the first century. Pentecost occurs roughly seven weeks after Easter Sunday, or 50 days after Easter, including Easter Day. Like Pentecost, Whit Monday is movable because it is determined by the Easter date. The Easter date depends on the ecclesiastical approximation of the March equinox.

Whit Monday used to be one of the major annual holidays in Pennsylvania Dutch country in the United States. From around 1835 to just after the Civil War, Whit Monday was referred to as the “Dutch Fourth of July” in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where people came to eat, drink and be entertained.

In some Orthodox churches, Whit Monday is observed after the date set by the western churches. This is because some Orthodox churches still observe holidays according to the Julian calendar, which preceded the Gregorian calendar adopted by many western churches.

Symbols

Whit Monday gets its English name from Whitsunday, or Whit Sunday, which referred to the white garments worn on Pentecost by the newly baptized. The symbols of Pentecost are those of the Holy Spirit and include flames, wind, and a dove.

About Whit Monday in other countries

Read more about Whit Monday.

Whit Monday Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday TypeWhere It is Observed
MonMay 242010Whit MondayChristian 
MonJun 132011Whit MondayChristian 
MonMay 282012Whit MondayChristian 
MonMay 202013Whit MondayChristian 
MonJun 92014Whit MondayChristian 
MonMay 252015Whit MondayChristian 
MonMay 162016Whit MondayChristian 
MonJun 52017Whit MondayChristian 
MonMay 212018Whit MondayChristian 
MonJun 102019Whit MondayChristian 
MonJun 12020Whit MondayChristian 

Quick Facts

Many Christians in the United States will observe Whit Monday, or Pentecost Monday. It is the day after Pentecost, which is also known as Whit Sunday or Whitsunday.

Whit Monday 2016

Monday, May 16, 2016

Whit Monday 2017

Monday, June 5, 2017

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Name in other languages

NameLanguage
Whit MondayEnglish
Lunes de PentecostésSpanish
חג השבועות יום שניHebrew
عيد العنصرة الأثنينArabic
오순절 월요일Korean
Annen pinsedagNorwegian
PfingstmontagGerman

Alternative names

NameLanguage
Pentecost MondayEnglish
Andre pinsedagNorwegian

List of dates for other years

Related holidays

Other holidays in May 2016 in the United States

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