Pentecost is a major Christian observance in Andorra 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.
Around 90 percent of Andorrans are Roman Catholic, and many of them attend special mass on Pentecost, including at the historic Santa Coloma Church in the city of Andorra’s “old quarter”.
But other ways that locals and visitors alike spend their holiday weekend include hiking in the beautiful Pyrenees Mountains, skiing on any slopes that still have sufficient ground snow, and enjoying the many duty-free shopping centres.
Pentecost is not as popular a holiday as it once was in Andorra and other Christian nations, but it is still an official holiday in many lands. To many, the religious meaning of the occasion has been lost and it is just another day off to relax or get out and have fun.