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Orthodox Pentecost in Romania

Pentecost (Rusalii or Rusaliile), also called Whit Sunday and Whit Monday, are public holidays in Romania to celebrate the Christian belief of the Holy Ghost’s descent upon Jesus Christ’s disciples.

Is Orthodox Pentecost a Public Holiday?

Orthodox Pentecost is a public holiday. It is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed.

In 2019 it falls on a Sunday. Due to this, some businesses may choose to follow Sunday opening hours.

It is believed that God's spirit descended on Jesus' disciples on Pentecost.

©iStockphoto.com/ZU_09

What Do People Do?

Many Romanians have the day off work and school on Pentecost and on Whit Monday. Many people can see the Căluşarii’s dance, which is a healing and protection ritual against mythical creatures, around the time of Whit Sunday. Many churches hold special services to celebrate Pentecost.

Public Life

Pentecost is a national public holiday in Romania so banks, public offices, and many private businesses are closed. People intending to travel via public transport during public holidays must check with the public transit authorities on any changes to time schedules.

Background

Whit Sunday and Whit Monday are on the 50th and 51st days after the Orthodox Easter Sunday date in Romania. Pentecost in Romania is set in accordance with the Orthodox Christian Church’s calendar. Many Orthodox churches base their Easter date on the Julian calendar, which differs from the Gregorian calendar used in many western countries. Whit Sunday, or Whitsunday, is celebrated among many Christians worldwide.

Symbols

The symbols of Pentecost are those of the Holy Spirit and include flames, wind, the breath of God, and a dove. Whit Sunday also symbolizes the beginning of the Christian Church. However, there are some traditions that are associated with myth. For example, The Căluşarii’s dance serves as a symbol of protection from fairies.

Orthodox Pentecost Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2010SunMay 23Orthodox PentecostNational holiday, Orthodox
2011SunJun 12Orthodox PentecostNational holiday, Orthodox
2012SunJun 3Orthodox PentecostNational holiday, Orthodox
2013SunJun 23Orthodox PentecostNational holiday, Orthodox
2014SunJun 8Orthodox PentecostNational holiday, Orthodox
2015SunMay 31Orthodox PentecostNational holiday, Orthodox
2016SunJun 19Orthodox PentecostNational holiday, Orthodox
2017SunJun 4Orthodox PentecostNational holiday, Orthodox
2018SunMay 27Orthodox PentecostNational holiday, Orthodox
2019SunJun 16Orthodox PentecostNational holiday, Orthodox
2020SunJun 7Orthodox PentecostNational holiday, Orthodox

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