Dutch Fourth of July

Among the three great Christian feasts: Christmas, Pascha and Pentecost, it seems as though Pentecost is the least observed. Church attendance, for one, is not as great on Pentecost as it is on Christmas or Pascha. According to timeanddate.com website (here) some of the customs on Pentecost Monday, or Whit Monday, include:  “Cheese rolling and throwing competitions are held in some parts of England. In other parts of the country, Whit walks, which are parades led by local brass bands, clergy, dignitaries and local organizations, are held. The walks are often concluded by various activities that include competitions, dancing and food.”

Also noted is:

Whit Monday used to be one of the major annual holidays in Pennsylvania Dutch country in the United States. From around 1835 to just after the Civil War, Whit Monday was referred to as the “Dutch Fourth of July” in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where people came to eat, drink and be entertained.  Whit Monday was once a public holiday in Ireland and was a bank holiday in the United Kingdom until 1967, when it was formally replaced by a fixed spring holiday on the last Monday in May in 1971.


One thought on “Dutch Fourth of July

  1. It appears that Pentecost has lost most of its impact that it once had in Pennsylvania Dutch Country. Apparently, these residents are now paying more attention to their agricultural production.

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