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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.

Is Whit Monday a Public Holiday?

Whit Monday is not a public holiday. Businesses have normal opening hours.

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

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday TypeArea
2010MonMay 24Whit MondayChristian 
2011MonJun 13Whit MondayChristian 
2012MonMay 28Whit MondayChristian 
2013MonMay 20Whit MondayChristian 
2014MonJun 9Whit MondayChristian 
2015MonMay 25Whit MondayChristian 
2016MonMay 16Whit MondayChristian 
2017MonJun 5Whit MondayChristian 
2018MonMay 21Whit MondayChristian 
2019MonJun 10Whit MondayChristian 
2020MonJun 1Whit MondayChristian 

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