Pentecost is a major Christian observance in Barbados that takes place on the fiftieth day of Easter – 49 days after Easter Sunday. It is also known as Whit Sunday, and is celebrated with a Whit Monday public holiday each year.
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Pentecost is the final celebration of the seven-week Easter period. According to Christian belief, Pentecost commemorates the day that the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles and disciples of Jesus, giving them the ability to speak in different languages to share the good news about Jesus.
The name “Whit” Sunday and Monday comes from the white clothes traditionally worn by those being baptised on this popular day for baptisms.
As to how it is celebrated, church specials are the norm. Many are irreligious or even agnostic and may not attend church. Those who do go to church follow numerous different traditions. The way Anglicans, making up 28 percent of the population observe the holiday is very different, for example, from how Pentecostals, the next largest group at 18 percent, observe it.
If there’s one thing all can agree on, though, it’s that Whit Monday is a time for many locals and travellers to get out to the seashore and sun oneself on the sand or swim in the turquoise blue waters.