Orthodox Pentecost, also known as Whitsunday or Whit Sunday is a Christian holiday on which the Greek Orthodox Church commemorate the descent of God’s Holy Spirit upon the disciples of Jesus Christ as recorded in the New Testament in Acts, 2. The Apostles received the ability to speak in other languages and immediately began to preach about Jesus Christ to Jewish people from all over the world who flocked to Jerusalem for the Feast of Shavuot (Pentecost).
The symbols of Pentecost are those of the Holy Spirit and include flames, wind, the breath of God and a dove.
It is celebrated in Greece seven weeks and a day (50 days) following Easter. In Greek Orthodox doctrine, Pentecost was the fulfilment of Jesus’ mission on Earth and the beginning of the “Messianic Age of God’s Kingdom.
According to Christian texts, the Holy Spirit, often symbolised by a dove, descended on the apostles who received the gift of tongues. Pentecost celebrates this event.
Pentecost marks to the Orthodox believer the coming of the Spirit, the full revelation of the Trinity, and a day to celebrate membership in God’s family. Pentecost became not only a commemoration of the Holy Spirit visit but also marks the birth of the Christian Church.
The holiday is celebrated in Crete also as Holy Spirit Monday. The date in the Orthodox church will differ from the Western church due to the different methods of calculating the date of Easter. On this day, many people in Crete enjoy family gatherings, picnics, or outings to the country or mountains.