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Orthodox Pentecost

Orthodox Pentecost 2018 and 2019

Orthodox Pentecost has been celebrated as a major Christian holiday for hundreds of years, and it continues to be kept with great fervour today. In 2018, Whit Sunday and Whit Monday fall on 27 and 28 May. Ukrainians often refer to Pentecost as “Triytsya“, meaning “Trinity Sunday.”

YearDateDayHoliday
201827 MaySunOrthodox Whit Sunday
28 MayMonOrthodox Whit Monday
201916 JunSunOrthodox Whit Sunday
17 JunMonOrthodox Whit Monday
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Around three-quarters of Ukraine’s 43 million people say that they believe in God, but only 37 percent say they attend church regularly. Most of those who are religious in Ukraine identify as Christians, and the largest Christian denomination has long been Eastern Orthodoxy.

Catholics and other Christian groups living in Ukraine may celebrate Pentecost as well, but not necessarily on the same date. Orthodox Pentecost is based on the Julian Calendar, while Catholic and Protestant Pentecost is dated using the Gregorian Calendar. Both dates are based on being 50 days after Easter, but Easter is often a week or so ahead on the Orthodox calendar.

Many churches in Ukraine will hold special services on Orthodox Pentecost, but there are many traditions and events outside of the church as well. For example, people will sometimes decorate their houses with the calamus herb, grasses, garlands, and with green branches, which is why Pentecost is also called “Green Sunday” in Ukraine. Many will visit the graves of deceased loved ones on Pentecost as well, leaving food items at the grave sites.

Pentecost is also a wonderful time to get out of doors in Ukraine, for it is the time when the land turns its greenest. It is also the time when farmers will mow and harvest their hay crops, however, so those with allergies should take proper precautions.

Many shops and government services will close down for Orthodox Pentecost, but there will also be many places still open for the enjoyment of tourists.