Pentecost is a major Christian observance in the British Virgin Islands 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.
The largest Christian groups in BVI, Methodists, Anglicans, and Roman Catholics, all often hold special Whit Sunday services for their congregations. The following Monday is an off-work day for many, and many businesses may therefore be closed.
Whit Monday is a day of relaxation and fun. Locals and tourists both enjoy the spring weather, the sandy, serene beaches, the rain forest of Sage Mountain National Park, the colourful aquatic life of BVI’s numerous coral reefs, and the joy of yachting about the many islets.