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Pink PageWhat is Pentecost? - DV

What is Pentecost? – DV

Today is Pentecost and tomorrow is another Pentecost. This weekend therefore lasts three days and is generally called the Pentecost weekend. This is something readers know well. However, it is not uncommon for some people to be unsure of what Pentecost actually is or why it is celebrated and is a holiday.

When you search the Google search engine for the word Pentecost, this is the first thing that appears respond Hjalta Hughason, emeritus professor of theology at the University of Iceland, from 2006 when asked why Pentecost is celebrated. The question was submitted on the University of Iceland science website.

Hjalti says that Pentecost, in addition to Easter and Christmas, is one of the main holidays of the Christian church. He says the festival originally marked the end of the 50-day Easter period, but later became an independent commemoration of what is called the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

Reminds Hjalti that the Holy Spirit, along with God the Father and the Son Jesus Christ, is the basis of the Holy Trinity, which is a key part of Christianity (although this is not true for some religious groups). About the role of the Holy Spirit, Hjalti says:

“The role of the Holy Spirit, on the other hand, is to enlighten each person and completely renew God’s creation. He is therefore said to be the transforming force that brings all good things into human life and nature. For these and other reasons, Pentecost is considered the founding day of the Church.”

Hjalti says that in the second chapter of the Acts of the New Testament, it is said that the disciples of Christ gathered together, then a roar was heard from heaven, tongues of fire fell on the disciples and they began to speak a foreign language they did not speak. know. Others present thought the disciples must have been drunk, but Hjalti said the purifying fire and speaking in tongues are symbols of the Holy Spirit. Christ, after his resurrection, told the disciples that the Holy Spirit would help them after he left them.

It should be borne in mind that Christ ascended to heaven on Ascension Day, which is celebrated before Pentecost.

These are the religious roots of Pentecost, but Hjalti notes that it is also linked, like Easter, to an ancient Israeli and later Jewish harvest festival.

The name itself

Regarding the name of the festival itself, Whitsunday, Hjalti says:

“The original name of the holiday, pentekosté heméra or the fiftieth day, was inherited from the Greek-speaking Jews. From this name comes the name Pentecost in various foreign languages, for example pentecost in English and pinse in Danish. The Icelandic name hvítasunna also has an equivalent in several languages, for example Whitsunday in English.”

Hjalti adds that in ancient times the word white day was commonly used. Its name comes from the fact that it was common to baptize people on the eve of Pentecost, but it was celebrated like various other eves of major feasts. After baptism, the baptized were dressed in white garments, which is the origin of today’s baptismal robes.

Day off

Pentecost has been celebrated and its days have been holidays in this country for at least hundreds of years. In addition to Pentecost and the second day of Pentecost, in the past the third and fourth days of Pentecost were also holidays. The same goes for Christmas and Easter. However, the Catholic Church has abolished the fourth day.

After the Reformation in the Nordic countries, in the 16th century, the Lutherans also wanted to abolish the third day to reduce the influence of Catholicism, where the emphasis was on the major feasts of the Holy Trinity. It was finally done in this country with the decree of the Danish king around 1770.

This is why one at Pentecost, one at Christmas and one at Easter bear these names.

Today, Pentecost has largely lost all its distinctive features. It is celebrated in churches across the country, but there are no longer any particular customs associated with it, and for many Pentecost is primarily a three-day weekend.

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