Many Christians in Australia observe Whit Monday, also known as Pentecost Monday, on the day after Pentecost, which is also known as Whitsunday or Whit Sunday. This period commemorates the Holy Spirit's descent on Jesus Christ's disciples, as told in the Christian Bible.
Is Whit Monday a Public Holiday?
Although Whit Monday is not a public holiday, businesses and schools may be closed because it falls on the same date as Reconciliation Day in 2023, which is a public holiday in Australian Capital Territory.
What Do People Do?
Many Christians in Australia observe Whit Monday and Whit Sunday (or Pentecost) period by remembering the Holy Spirit's descent on Jesus' disciples and the events that followed, which are told in the New Testament of the Christian Bible.
Church events and activities that observe Whit Monday may include evening services, bible group meetings, and Sunday school lessons that focus on teaching children about the origins and the meaning of Whit Monday and Whit Sunday. Many churches in Australia acknowledge Whit Monday as part of Whitsun Week, or Whitsuntide, which includes Whit Sunday, or Pentecost.
Whit Monday is not a public holiday throughout Australia.
Christian Pentecost commemorates the Holy Spirit’s visit to the apostles who received the “gift of tongues” on the 50th day after Easter, according to Christian belief. Many Christians see this as 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.
Many Orthodox Christian communities in Australia, particularly the Greek Orthodox churches, observe Whit Monday at a later date than the date observed by western churches in Australia. 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 symbols of the Pentecost period are those of the Holy Spirit and include flames, wind, and a dove.