Did you know that Pentecost (50 days after Easter) is also called Whitsunday? In Northern Europe Pentecost was preferred as the time to administer baptism because the temperature in late spring was more conducive for places that lacked modern central heating. The name Whit Sunday derives from the custom of the newly baptized wearing white clothing.

Pentecost is related to the Jewish harvest festival of Shavuot, which commemorates the giving of the Ten Commandments. For Christians, Pentecost commemorates the giving of the Holy Spirit which is why the feast is sometimes described as the “Birthday of the Church.”