Did You Ever Wonder... about Pentecost Traditions?
We will celebrate Pentecost on June 9th when we will observe the story in Acts of the Holy Spirit coming upon Jesus' followers. We traditionally say that this event is the official start of the Church.
Pentecost is celebrated by the church all around the world, and as such, there are some interesting traditions that happen in different countries.
In Italy it is customary to scatter rose petals from the ceiling of the churches to recall the miracle of the fiery tongues.
In France it is customary to blow trumpets during the worship service, to recall the sound of the mighty wind which accompanied the Descent of the Holy Spirit.
In the north west of England, church and chapel parades called Whit Walks take place at Pentecost. Typically, the parades contain brass bands and choirs; girls attending are dressed in white. Other customs such as morris dancing and cheese rolling are also associated with Pentecost. "Whitsunday" has been the name of the day in the Church of England for hundreds of years.
In Finland there is a saying known virtually by everyone which translates as "if one has no sweetheart until Pentecost, he/she will not have it during the whole summer." That's pretty harsh!
In Port Vila, the capital of Vanuatu, people originating from Pentecost Island usually celebrate their island's name-day with a special church service followed by cultural events such as dancing.
In Ukraine the customs for the festival of Pentecost are performed in the following order: first, home and hearth would be cleaned; second, foods were prepared for the festival; finally, homes and churches were decorated with wildflowers and various types of green herbs and plants. A seven course meal may be served as the Pentecost feast which may include traditional dishes such as cereal with honey, rice or millet grains with milk, sauerkraut soup, chicken broth with handmade noodles, cheese turnovers, roast pork, and buckwheat cakes served with eggs and cheese.