Pentecost (Ancient Greek: Πεντηκοστή [ἡμέρα], Pentēkostē [hēmera], “the Fiftieth [day]”) is the Greek name for the Feast of Weeks, a prominent feast in the calendar of ancient Israel celebrating the giving of the Law on Sinai. This feast is still celebrated as Shavuot. Later, in the Christian liturgical year, it is also a feast commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the twelve Apostles of Christ.
In the Eastern church, Pentecost can also refer to the whole fifty days between Easter and Pentecost, hence the book containing the liturgical texts for Paschaltide is called the Pentecostarion. The feast is also called Whit Sunday, orWhitsun,especially in England, where the following Monday was traditionally a holiday. Pentecost is celebrated seven weeks (50 days) after Easter Sunday, hence its name. Pentecost falls on the tenth day after Ascension Thursday. Among Christians, Pentecost commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Twelve Apostles and other followers of Jesus as described in the Acts of the Apostles 2:1–31. For this reason, Pentecost is sometimes described by some Christians today as the “Birthday of the Church.” The Pentecostal movement of Christianity derives its name from the New Testament event. Main article: Shavuot Pentecost is the old Greek and Latin name for the Jewish harvest festival, or Festival of Weeks (Hebrew חג השבועות Hag haShavuot or Shevuot, literally “Festival of Weeks”), which can be found in the Hebrew Bible, Shavuot is called the Festival of Weeks (Hebrew: חג השבועות, chag ha-Shavuot, Exodus 34:22, Deuteronomy 16:10 ); Festival of Reaping (Hebrew: חג הקציר, chag ha-Katsir, Exodus 23:16 ), and Day of the First Fruits (Hebrew יום הביכורים, Yom ha-Bikkurim, Numbers 28:26 ).
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