Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The seventh Sunday after Easter; a festival of the church in commemoration of the descent of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.
  • noun In Scotland, one of the term-days (May 15th or, from the Old Style, May 26th) on which rents, annuities, ministers' stipends, etc., are paid, servants are engaged and paid, etc. The Whitsunday removal term in the towns is now fixed by law as May 28th.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Eccl.) The seventh Sunday, and the fiftieth day, after Easter; a festival of the church in commemoration of the descent of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost; Pentecost; -- so called, it is said, because, in the primitive church, those who had been newly baptized appeared at church between Easter and Pentecost in white garments.
  • noun (Scots Law) See the Note under Term, n., 12.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The Sunday of the feast of Pentecost, seven weeks after Easter, when traditionally many Christians would be baptised, wearing white clothes
  • noun Scotland A quarter day, falling on 15th May

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun seventh Sunday after Easter; commemorates the emanation of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles; a quarter day in Scotland

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English whitsonday, from Old English hwīta sunnandæg, White Sunday (from the white ceremonial robes worn on this day) : hwīt, white; see white + sunnandæg, Sunday; see Sunday.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Contraction of white Sunday

Examples

  • In the second, on the same feast, he calls Whitsunday the accomplishment of all the mysteries of our faith; and teaches that the Holy Ghost delayed his descent, that he might not come upon the apostles in vain, or without having been long and earnestly desired; and that he manifested his descent by the emblem of tongues of fire, to represent that he consumes like fire the thorns of our souls, and that his principal gift is charity.

    The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints January, February, March

  • Pentecost Sunday, also known as Whitsunday, ranks among the great feasts of Christianity.

    A Cake for Pentecost

  • Pentecost Sunday, also known as Whitsunday, ranks among the great feasts of Christianity.

    Archive 2008-05-01

  • [626: 1] Pentecost, called Whitsunday or White-Sunday, on account of the white garments worn by those who then received baptism, was observed as early as the beginning of the third century.

    The Ancient Church Its History, Doctrine, Worship, and Constitution

  • "We've had a couple of loose sheets of iron on roofs and reports of a few windows on pubs that went out," said Mike Brunker, mayor of Whitsunday, which is just south of Bowen.

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion

  • Pentecost or "Whitsunday" in the Anglican tradition, because it was a day for Baptism when people dressed in white is a top-level feast when it comes to hymnody in particular and chant in general.

    Hymns for Pentecost

  • Pentecost or "Whitsunday" in the Anglican tradition, because it was a day for Baptism when people dressed in white is a top-level feast when it comes to hymnody in particular and chant in general.

    Archive 2008-05-01

  • Since another name for Pentecost is "Whitsunday," there is a tradition to serve white foods.

    Menu ideas for Pentecost Sunday

  • Since another name for Pentecost is "Whitsunday," there is a tradition to serve white foods.

    Archive 2008-05-01

  • In ecclesiastical English, the feast of Pentecost still retains the alternative Anglo-Saxon title "Whitsunday," from the white robes of baptismal "candidates" (literally, in Latin, "those dressed in white").

    The Continuum

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