WHITSUN is a significant date in the Christian calendar and has historically been marked with a bank holiday.

While you might not realise it, your spring bank holiday is thanks to Whitsun.

When is Whitsun bank holiday 2022?

The exact date of Whitsun changes every year because it follows Easter.

Seven weeks after Easter, Christians celebrate Whitsun.

This year, this falls on Sunday, June 5, 2022.

It will become part of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations in 2022.


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What is Whitsun?

Whitsun is also known as the Pentecost or Whitsunday and commemorates the Holy Spirit's arrival, seven Sundays after the resurrection of Christ.

In the biblical account the Holy Spirit appears to the apostles, who were praying at the Shavuot – the 50th day of Passover.

When the Holy Spirit descended, the apostles began speaking in tongues – this attracted onlookers who thought they were drunk.

Saint Peter then explained that they had in fact been inspired by the spirit and delivered a sermon.

This was the first Christian sermon and lead to the baptism and conversion of thousands.

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It is thought by many to be the birth of the Christian church.

The exact origin of the name is unknown although Whitsun is believed to be a shortening of "White Sunday".

Other origins point to the word 'wit' which is an Anglo-Saxon word that means understanding.

How is Whitsun celebrated?

Many people honour the biblical origins by choosing Whitsun for baptisms.

Even those not being baptised will wear white and spend the day in worship.

Some churches will also hold traditional Whit Walks, which are filled with music and parade elements.

Since it is a Sunday, Whitsun itself is not the bank holiday, it is Whit Monday that the bank holiday is held on.

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This was replaced in 1971 with the spring bank holiday which normally takes place on the last Monday in May.

In 2022, this has been moved to Thursday, June 2, to give a long weekend for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.

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