Whit Monday

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Medieval Russian icon of the Old Testament Trinity by Andrei Rublev, used as the icon of the feast for Whit Monday.

Whit Monday or Pentecost Monday (also known as Monday of the Holy Spirit) is the holiday celebrated the day after Pentecost, a movable feast in the Christian calendar. It is movable because it is determined by the date of Easter.

Whit Monday gets its English name for following "Whitsun", the day that became one of the three baptismal seasons. The origin of the name "Whit Sunday" is generally attributed to the white garments formerly worn by those newly baptized on this feast.


The Monday after Pentecost is a holiday in Austria, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Gibraltar, Hungary, Iceland, Côte d'Ivoire, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Solomon Islands and Switzerland. In many of these countries, Whit Monday is known as "the second day of Pentecost" or "the second Whitsun". In France, it became a work day for many workers from 2005 to 2007. This was to raise extra funds following the government's lack of preparation for a summertime heat wave, which led to a shortage of proper health care for the elderly.[1] Contrary to what many sources report, Pentecost Monday did not become a public holiday again in 2008. Many offices are indeed closed that day, but only because employees are required to use one of their "overtime days" (RTT) to make this happen. In Liechtenstein, Whit Monday is considered to be a "favorite holiday"; much like Christmas in many other countries. In Germany, Whit Monday (German: Pfingstmontag) is a Holy Day of Obligation for Roman Catholics.[2]

Until 1973, Whit Monday was a public holiday in Ireland (also called a bank holiday). It was a bank holiday in the United Kingdom until 1967. It was formally replaced by the fixed Spring Bank Holiday on the last Monday in May in 1971.[3] It was also a public holiday in various former British colonies, especially in the Pacific. It remains a public holiday in some of the countries of the Commonwealth Caribbean. In Sweden, Whit Monday was a public holiday until 2004 as it was replaced by the National Day of Sweden from 2005.[4]

Roman Catholic Church[edit]

Whit Monday used to be the Monday within the octave of Pentecost. As after the liturgy reform the octave of Pentecost fell away—along the line that Pentecost as a closing-point of the Easter circle was not to have an afterfeast—it came to be a Monday in Ordinary Time, despite its still being a public holiday in many countries. These, most of the time, have assumed the practice to celebrate a votive mass of the Holy Spirit, in some dioceses compulsorily and even in case of otherwise impeding feasts.

Observance in Eastern Orthodoxy[edit]

In the Eastern Orthodox Church Whit Monday is known as "Monday of the Holy Spirit" or "Day of the Holy Spirit" and is the first day of the afterfeast of Pentecost, being dedicated specifically to the honor of God the Holy Spirit and particularly in commemoration of his descent upon the apostles at Pentecost. The day following is known as Third Day of the Trinity.[5] In the services on the Monday of the Holy Spirit many of the same hymns are sung as on the day of Pentecost itself. During the Divine Liturgy the Deacon intones the same introit as on the day of Pentecost, and the dismissal is the same as on the day of Pentecost. Special canons to the Holy Spirit are chanted at Compline and Matins.


Dates for Whit Monday, 2000–2020
Year Western Eastern
2000 June 12 June 19
2001 June 4
2002 May 20 June 24
2003 June 9 June 16
2004 May 31
2005 May 16 June 20
2006 June 5 June 12
2007 May 28
2008 May 12 June 16
2009 June 1 June 8
2010 May 24
2011 June 13
2012 May 28 June 4
2013 May 20 June 24
2014 June 9
2015 May 25 June 1
2016 May 16 June 20
2017 June 5
2018 May 21 May 28
2019 June 10 June 17
2020 June 1 June 8

The table on the right provides columns giving the dates on which Whit Monday is observed in both Western and Eastern Christianity. The Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches calculate Pascha (Easter) differently from the West (see Computus), and so the date of Whit Monday will be different most years.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Solidarity Day in France Retrieved 2009-04-17.
  2. ^ Deutsche Bischofskonferenz, 1995-10-05, Feiertagregelung. Retrieved 2008-05-12.
  3. ^ Spring Bank Holiday in the United Kingdom. Retrieved 2009-04-17.
  4. ^ Sveriges riksdag - Svensk författningssamling 1989:253 - "Lag (1989:253) om allmänna helgdagar".
  5. ^ OCA - Feasts and Saints. Retrieved 2011-06-06.

External links[edit]