Geneva, Switzerland - Most residents of Switzerland are enjoying a Monday off courtesy of one of the most ancient feasts of the Christian church celebrated, according to experts, early enough to be mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles.
Whit Monday, Pentecost Monday, or Monday of the Holy Spirit is a Christian holy day celebrated the day after Pentecost. The latter commemorates the descent of the Holy Ghost, fifty days after Easter (pentecost or 50 in Greek), or ten days after Ascension Day.
Pentecost is a recognized federal holiday in Switzerland and one of several with religious connotations but unlike Ascension Day, it is not recognized nor celebrated by all cantons in the Confederation.
Canton Valais for example does not observe the holiday and instead commemorates the Fête-Dieu or Corpus Christi on 23 June.
There are no large public religious celebrations associated with this holiday however, one event that draws quite a crowd over the long weekend, is horse racing in Frauenfeld, canton Thurgau.
Horse racing on Whit Monday is also very traditional in several municipalities in neighbouring France.
Here’s to a good day off!