Pentecost Sunday falls this year on May 19. But many people, including Christians, may not know why the day is special or what is celebrated. Unlike Easter and Christmas, when colorful eggs, Easter bunnies, Christmas trees and Santa Claus are harbingers of the upcoming Christian holidays, there are no such social markers by secular society ahead of Pentecost. For those who need a quick and basic understanding of what Pentecost Sunday is, below is listed 10 things you should know about the holiday.
1. Pentecost Sunday marks the day when the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles.
2. Pentecost Sunday occurs 50 days after Easter.
3. The Bible records the Pentecost in Acts 2:1-13.
4. Pentecost comes 10 days after the Ascension of Jesus Christ.
5. Pentecost is also known as "the birthday of the Church".
6. Pentecost fulfills Jesus' promise to send the "Counselor" and "Spirit of Truth" in John 16-5-15.
7. Pentecost launches the large-scale spreading of the Gospel after Jesus' ascension. Acts 2:41 records that after Peter spoke to the crowd after receiving the Holy Spirit, some 3,000 people were baptized.
8. The Pentecostal movement derives its name from the New Testament event in Acts 2.
9. Jews also celebrate Pentecost, but not for the same reason as Christians. The celebration by Jews of Pentecost is to observe God giving the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai 50 days after the Exodus. The Pentecost in Jewish tradition takes place 50 days after Passover.
10. In Western Churches, Pentecost is usually represented with the color red, which symbolizes the fire of the Holy Spirit.