The spring bank holiday is a chance to take an extra day off to catch up with friends, spend a long weekend away, or just enjoy some rest and relaxation. However, this year’s spring bank holiday took place on June 2, 2022, in order to coincide with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
Over the long weekend small community events like street parties and gatherings have taken place, as well as big formal celebrations like the Platinum Jubilee concert at Buckingham Palace. The latter saw performances from Diversity, Craig David, George Ezra, Duran Duran, Andrea Bocelli, and Queen with Adam Lambert.
The spring bank holiday usually takes place to coincide with the religious date of Whitsun. As the name suggests, Whitsun takes place on a Sunday and the bank holiday usually takes place on the following Monday. But this year the public holiday was moved to Thursday, June 2 to align with the Platinum Jubilee.
But many people may also be wondering about the origins of the “Whitsun” bank holiday and why it is celebrated.
What is Whitsun?
The origins of Whitsun (or Whit Sunday, as it is sometimes known) lie with the Christian commemoration of Pentecost, which is celebrated by many different denominations within the faith, including Catholics, Methodists, Anglicans and more. It is traditionally celebrated on the seventh Sunday after Easter. This is fifty days from Easter Sunday, and the word “Pentecost” is derived from the Greek for “50th Day”.
In the bible, this is described as the day when the disciples felt the holy spirit of Jesus Christ descend onto them. This is often displayed as a white dove in iconography, which is still associated with the holiday. The BBC state s that “Ministers in church often wear robes with red in the design as a symbol of the flames in which the Holy Spirit came to earth” and that many hymns are traditionally associated with the holiday, including “Come down O Love Divine”, “Breathe on me breath of God”, and “Come Holy Ghost our souls inspire”.
In the UK, the Christian holiday has long been associated with the spring bank holiday, which usually happens on the last Monday of May.
When is Whitsun?
This year, Whitsun is taking place today (June 5, 2022). An extra bank holiday was added to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, meaning that many people ended up with a four-day weekend.