Maundy Thursday, Easter, Pentecost: that’s what the holidays are like

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Maundy Thursday, Easter, Pentecost: that's what the holidays are like

We have an extra day off next weekend, because it is Easter. A well-known question during this holiday is of course: what actually happened at Easter? You don’t have to read an entire Bible to discover this: in this article we mention what they mean of all the special days that are now coming up. Nice and short.

Ash Wednesday

This is the day the Catholics’ 40-day Lent begins. There are 40 days of fasting from Ash Wednesday to Easter, excluding Sundays. It’s easier to remember: the Wednesday before Carnival, because that’s when it starts.

White Thursday

That’s almost it: Maundy Thursday is the Thursday before Good Friday. It is the day of Jesus’ Last Supper. Many people know this day mainly as the day of The Passion, because on this day this spectacle is broadcast, full of celebrities who reflect on the suffering and death of Jesus Christ in a musical way. By the way, it is not a Dutch invention, The Passion: it started in Manchester.

Good Friday

Good Friday is a popular day because children are free then and so are many civil servants. Furthermore, it is not very common for the business community to pay attention to this, which sometimes makes it a bit of a hassle for parents of free children. Good Friday is always the Friday before Easter and this is the day Christ went to the cross and died.

Silent Saturday

And then it was quiet, apparently. Holy Saturday is best known as the last day of Lent. Why it’s quiet? Because the bells don’t ring until the Easter Vigil.

Easter Monday and Easter Monday

Then comes Sunday and that is Easter Sunday. At Easter we have two days off: Easter Monday and Easter Monday, which always fall on a Sunday and a Monday. Christians celebrate that Jesus rose from the dead. Nowadays, the Dutch mainly celebrate it by hiding and searching for chocolate Easter eggs, plus brunch with eggs, chenille chicks on the table and party stollen.

Ascension Day

There are 50 days between Easter and Pentecost, which is why the saying ‘if Easter and Pentecost fall on the same day’ is so safe to indicate that something never happens. But 40 days after Easter there is something else to remember and that is Ascension Day. Many people are free at that time and there are companies that require employees to take a mandatory day off on Friday. On Ascension Day itself, Jesus -what’s in a name?- goes to heaven, where his Father is (that is, God). Ascension Day always falls on a Thursday.

Pentecost

Like Easter, Pentecost always falls on a Sunday and Monday, and always 50 days after Easter (i.e., the seventh Sunday after Easter). Pentecost is the moment when the Holy Spirit descended. Pentecost is not really something that people think about for non-religious Dutch people, as is Easter. There is no theme or decoration, but they are official days off. What is known about Pentecost is Pinkpop, the music festival in Landgraaf. However, this does not always take place during Pentecost, as it is often held on a weekend closer to June. This is also the case this year: because Pentecost starts on May 19 and Pinkpop starts on June 21.

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