Traditions - General Info

Pentecost - French Public Holiday

This page was updated on: Monday, December 11, 2017 at: 1:57 pm

Pentecost Monday is a public holiday in France

Pentecost is the final celebration of the seven-week Easter period and is a moveable festival.

It celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit of Jesus upon the Apostles on the seventh Sunday and fiftieth day after Easter.

Its name comes from the Greek word Pentekoste, which means fiftieth.

It is known as Pentecôte in French.

Pentecost Monday has been a French public holiday since 1801.

Most French public offices, many shops and businesses are therefore closed on that day.

Pentecost is also known as Whitsunday in English speaking countries.

This name comes from the white clothes the newly converted Christians wore for their baptism during the vigil.

Pentecost - Pentecôte - Whitsunday

On the fiftieth day after Easter, a noise similar to that of a violent wind descended from heaven, filled the room where Jesus’ apostles had gathered.

The hushing sound was followed by fire that split in several flames.

However, each flame came to rest on each of the apostles' heads.

The apostles suddenly felt that they were filled with the gift of the Holy Spirit that Jesus had promised during his Ascension to heaven.

They realized to their own astonishment that each of them was able to speak and being understood in a different language.

Each apostle therefore set off in a different direction in order to testify to the resurrection of Jesus.

They spread His word among the world and began to baptize new converts.

Soon the first Christians began to organize themselves into communities under their direction.

Pentecost is therefore a major celebration, as it marks the rise of Christianity.

Dates for Pentecost Sunday: 20 May 2018 - 9 June 2019

Dates for all the French public holidays

Photos via Wikimedia: Church fresco  by Radim Scholaster is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
The Macarons de Paris differ from the Macarons de Saint-Emilion

Macarons de Saint-Emilion, an Italian recipe

Macarons de Saint-Emilion are biscuits made from crushed almonds, sugar and egg whites, an ancient recipe invented in Italy and improved by the Ursuline sisters of St-Emilion in 1620
Easter Eggs

Easter Eggs, a pagan tradition turned Christian

Easter Eggs, a Christian tradition that take its roots in paganism, when ancient people considered eggs as the symbol of renewal, life and fecundity
Violet of Toulouse

Violet of Toulouse, a fragrant flower from Parma

The Violet of Toulouse was imported from the Italian city of Parma in the middle of the 19th century and is today the official emblem of the capital of the Occitanie region
French Fries

French fries versus Belgian fries

You all know what French fries are, but do you know the origin of their name and the country they come from, France and Belgium?

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter

Please note: We will not sell or distribute your email address to any third party.