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Whitsun is a celebration of the Holy Spirit and the last important festival in the Church calendar. It is observed with special religious ceremonies 50 days after Easter. The period of 50 days was taken from the Jewish tradition, which also counts 50 days between the Jewish Passover celebrations (at Easter time) and Shavuot, the Festival of Weeks. The festival originally celebrated the bringing of the first fruits to the temple but is also known as the "birthday of the Church".
In this sense, it is both a church festival that celebrates Jesus' proclamation of the coming of the Holy Spirit and a ceremony marking the end of Eastertide. After Jesus returned to his heavenly father, he sent the Holy Spirit to earth. Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus is present in all who believe in him. The Holy Spirit gave the first Christians the strength and courage to tell other people about Jesus.
Whitsun was first mentioned as a Christian festival in 130 AD. The dove became the symbol of the Holy Spirit in the 6th century and thus the symbol for Whitsun as well. Whit Monday is a public holiday in Germany. Of the traditional Whitsun customs, only field rides, Whit processions and prayer ceremonies for good weather remain, occasionally also Whitsun bonfires.