Whit Monday: Christians hit parks, beaches and more for public holiday

Crowded beach with buildings in back

Reports expect crowds at British beaches and other public areas on the holiday of Whit Monday. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

MONDAY, MAY 25: Christians around the world celebrated Pentecost with red garments, banners, doves and trumpets, but today, customs are traced back to the centuries when Pentecost was also known as Whit Sunday—and the day following as Whit Monday. On Whit Monday, a holiday was given for the faithful. (Wikipedia has details.) Pentecost was nicknamed “Whit Sunday” for the white garments worn by those who had just been baptized.

Several customs mark Whit Monday across the globe: cheese rolling in England, parades, sports competitions, dancing and feasting. While Whit Monday was kept as a bank holiday throughout the United Kingdom until 1971, it remains a holiday in countries such as Austria, Barbados, Denmark, France, Germany, Monaco, Norway and Switzerland.

UK news reports have been predicting a large turnout this Whit Monday in British parks, gardens and beaches, as the weekend’s temperatures soar and dry weather is in the forecast.