Pentecost is a major Christian observance in Liechtenstein 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.
While Pentecost Sunday and Monday are not major holidays, if holidays at all, in most nations today, in Liechtenstein, they are practically as important as Christmas and Christmas Eve.
The significance of Pentecost as the “Birthday of the Church” and as the “Monday of the Holy Spirit” made it a big Christian holiday since the early centuries of the Christian Era, but Liechtenstein is one of the few places where this holiday still retains its former prestige. It is, in fact, the favourite holiday of many of the locals.
Many exchange gifts, go to church, attend special festive events, and consume special foods and sweets on Pentecost Weekend. They may also visit family. The tiny Alpine kingdom comes alive for a few days around Pentecost, 50 days after Easter, as it remembers the meaning of the faith of most of its people.