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Pentecost, also known as Whitsunday, is a Christian feast day that commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles and other followers of Jesus Christ. This occasion typically involves prayer services, special hymns and liturgical readings, and various communal gatherings that celebrate the gifts of the Spirit.
While the celebration of Pentecost can be traced back to the early days of Christianity, its observance in Australia gained prominence with the arrival of European settlers and the spread of the Christian faith in the continent. Australians mark the day with the colour red, symbolising the fire of the Holy Spirit. Followers also engage in charitable activities, reflecting the spirit of unity and love fostered by the event. Events such as the Australian Prayer Network and the Pentecost Festival in Sydney have sought to engage Christians from different denominations and backgrounds in prayer and worship, with an emphasis on contemporary relevance and engagement with the wider community.
Pentecost occurs 50 days after Easter Sunday, including Easter within the count, and is observed on the seventh Sunday after Easter. In the Western Christian calendar, this places it in the range of May 10th to June 13th. The Eastern Orthodox Church observes Pentecost between May 22nd and June 25th, depending on the year.
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Pentecost references and related sitesNew Advent: Pentecost (Whitsunday) Vatican.va: Homily of Pope Francis, Sunday, May 19, 2013. www.bbc.co.uk: Pentecost