It's a time of year that marks the descent of the Holy Spirit for those who are religious. But for others, it could lead to confusion over whether the event is a bank holiday. Here's the lowdown on when Whitsun 2018 takes place, what Pentecost is all about and whether you'll get the day off. When is Whitsun 2018 and is it a UK bank holiday? In 2018, Whitsun is on Sunday May 20. Whit Monday follows Whitsun, which falls this year on Monday, May 21, 2018. This date used to be a bank holiday in the United Kingdom, but in 1967 it was replaced by a fixed bank holiday on the last Monday of May. This year, the bank holiday at the end of May falls on Monday, May 28, 2018. What is Pentecost? Pentecost is a Christian holiday celebrated 50 days after Easter. It marks the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and others who followed Jesus Christ while they were in Jerusalem celebrating the Feast of Weeks. It’s also referred to as Whitsun, and is seen as the birth of the Christian … [Read more...] about When is Whitsun 2018, what is Pentecost and is the Christian observance a UK bank holiday?
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FC Bnei Sakhnin, one of the Israeli Premier League’s smaller teams, deserves its scrappy reputation: it’s the only Arab team playing in the country’s top tier football league. Sakhnin in Israel’s north has an Arab majority population and is home to several high-profile community building initiatives, such as its Qatari-funded Doha Football Stadium. The quiet town, nestled in a valley of olive groves, is a shining example of what is possible when Arab and Jewish communities are able to overcome their differences. The club is both managed and chaired by Jewish men, and Jewish players are welcome on the team although most of the current players are Arab. Read more At least nine dead as clashes on the Gaza-Israel border continue Israel has faced little criticism over Palestinian deaths Palestinian Ahed Tamimi ‘sexually harassed’ during interrogations The team’s coach says the footballers see each other as brothers – … [Read more...] about In an age of wall building, Israelis and Palestinians find bonding experiences in unexpected places
The "Holy Fire" ceremony in Jerusalem helped Eastern Orthodox Christians usher in Easter, one week after Christians in the West also celebrated the religion's holiest day. Some 7,000 pilgrims in Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre lit their candles off of the "flame" from the "miracle light" on the night of April 7 and early morning of April 8, Easter Day. The light emanates from the stone bed that Christian tradition believes to be the spot where Jesus's body was placed for burial. The flame represents the resurrection of Christ and will be passed candle to candle and taken to other Orthodox churches around the world. The ritual dates back some 1,200 years. The Greek Orthodox, Armenian, and Roman Catholic denominations share custody of the church. In Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin attended services at Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral, where several thousand people gathered, including members of parliament. In Kyiv, church services, festivals, and … [Read more...] about ‘Holy Fire’ Ceremony Helps Orthodox Christians Usher In Easter
Hungary’s nationalist prime minister, Viktor Orban, claims Poles and Hungarians have a common goal in maintaining Christianity in their countries as the leader progresses towards a third consecutive term in power. Mr Orban, who commonly presents himself as the defender of Europe and Hungary from Muslim migrants, is well in the lead to win Sunday’s general election according to the latest opinion polls. Mr Orban has held his position as prime minister since 2010. His right-wing, populist leadership, which echoes elements of Donald Trump’s rise to power, has seen the 54-year-old attain a firm grip of the media, allowing him to dominate the public agenda and propagate ethnic nationalism. Read more Hungarian PM Viktor Orban steps up populist rhetoric ahead of election Refugees are ‘Muslim invaders’, says Hungarian PM Viktor Orban Hungarian President Viktor Orban hosts notorious anti-LGBT hate group On Friday, he said Hungary’s future would … [Read more...] about Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban vows to create ‘Christian homeland’ on eve of election
Tens of thousands of Christian pilgrims gathered at Christianity's holiest site in Jerusalem's Old City on Saturday for the "Holy Fire" ceremony on the eve of Orthodox Easter. With candles in hand, at least seven thousand pilgrims filled the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, according to police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld. The church is built on the site where according to Christian tradition Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected. Thousands more stood in the square outside to receive the flame, representing the resurrection of Christ, which passed from candle to candle and will be taken back to Orthodox churches worldwide. The ceremony is the holiest event for Orthodox Christianity. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the rest of the Old City lies in east Jerusalem, occupied and later annexed by Israel following the Six Day War of 1967. The Greek Orthodox, Armenian and Roman Catholic denominations share custody of the church. Christians made up more than 18 percent of the population … [Read more...] about Orthodox Christians hold ‘Holy Fire’ ceremony in Jerusalem