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Pentecost in Australia

Pentecost is a Christian observance commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit on Jesus Christ’s disciples, according to the Bible. Many Christians in Australia celebrate Pentecost, which is also known as Pentecost Sunday, Whitsunday, or Whit Sunday.

The dove often symbolizes the Holy Spirit, according to Christian belief.
The dove often symbolizes the Holy Spirit, according to Christian belief.

What Do People Do?

Many churches in Australia focus on themes about the Holy Spirit as part of the Pentecost Sunday services. Bible passages regarding the Holy Spirit’s descent on Jesus’ disciples are read out during the services. Some churches may organize special events, including plays or weekend retreats, where people discuss topics centered on Pentecost, including the meaning of the Holy Spirit’s gifts. Sunday school classes and Bible study groups may also focus on the meaning behind Pentecost during this period.

Public Life

Whitsunday is not a public holiday in Australia. However it falls on a Sunday so many aspects of public life on Whitsunday do not differ to any other Sunday.


According to the Christian Bible, it was on the 50th day after Easter when the apostles prayed together and the Holy Spirit descended on them. They received the “gift of tongues” – the ability to speak in other languages – and immediately began to preach about Jesus Christ to Jewish people from all over the world who flocked to Jerusalem for the Feast of Shavuot.

Christian Pentecost not only commemorated the Holy Spirit’s visit but also marked the birth of the Christian Church. Although it is not certain when Christians started observing Pentecost, it may have been early as the first century CE. Whitsuntide, also referred to as Whitsun in modern times, is the period beginning with the Saturday before Whitsunday and ending the following Saturday.

According to church tradition, Pentecost is about seven weeks after Easter Sunday, or 50 days after Easter, including Easter Day. In some Orthodox churches, Whitsunday 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. The Easter date depends on the ecclesiastical approximation of the March equinox.


The symbols of Pentecost are those of the Holy Spirit and include flames, wind, and a dove.

About Pentecost in other countries

Read more about Pentecost.

Pentecost Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday TypeWhere It is Observed
SunMay 232010PentecostChristian 
SunJun 122011PentecostChristian 
SunMay 272012PentecostChristian 
SunMay 192013PentecostChristian 
SunJun 82014PentecostChristian 
SunMay 242015PentecostChristian 
SunMay 152016PentecostChristian 
SunJun 42017PentecostChristian 
SunMay 202018PentecostChristian 
SunJun 92019PentecostChristian 
SunMay 312020PentecostChristian 

Quick Facts

Many Christians in Australia observe Pentecost, also known as Whitsunday or Whit Sunday.

Pentecost 2018

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Pentecost 2019

Sunday, June 9, 2019


Name in other languages


Alternative name

Pentecost Sunday

List of dates for other years

Related holiday

Other holidays in May 2019 in Australia

World Holiday on May 20, 2019

Fun Holiday on May 20, 2019

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