There is no fixed date on the calendar for when Pentecost is celebrated. Because it takes place 50 days after Easter, its date depends on when Easter is.

However, it has to take place between 10th May and 13th June. This means that it is called a ‘moveable feast’.

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Priests often wear red clothing on Pentecost to symbolise the tongues of fire that blessed the 12 apostles with the ability to speak different languages.

While the terms ‘disciples’ and ‘apostles’ are often interchangeable, there are slight differences in what they mean. Being a disciple means being a follower, whilst being an apostle means being a teacher. Jesus had many more than 12 followers, however the 12 people he chose as his apostles are also known as the 12 disciples.

The images associated with Pentecost are that of the Holy Spirit: flames, the wind, the breath of God and a dove.

While doves are also used to represent the Holy Spirit, they also symbolise new beginnings. In Genesis, a pair of doves represented the end of the flood, and when Jesus was baptised the Holy Spirit descended to him in the form of a dove.

While ‘speaking in tongues’ is believed by many to mean that the apostles spoke in different languages to preach the word of God, some Christians – like Pentecostals – believe that speaking in tongues means they were speaking Glossolalia instead, rapid speech-like sounds that can’t be understood.


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