Is it wise to annul the Pentecostweekend

Some Belgian members of parliament want to get rid of some holidays. In the picture they have the Whitsun weekend and November the 11th.

Wie hard werkt, moet goed eten.

Pentecost feast or Pinksterfeest in Lovenjoel

In Feestdagen, consumeren en besparen I try to explain why minister De Crem his idea to dispense with Whit Monday is not such a good idea, because instead of having more consummation, what he thinks, we shall see lesser consumption and bringing hotels, restaurants, domestic caterers in danger.

Shavu'ot, the Festival of Weeks, is the second of the three major festivals with both historical and agricultural significance (the other two are Passover and Sukkot).

There are the Christians with Pentecost, the first and second communions and the sacrament of conformation by the Roman Catholics, special Biblestudy weekends by Biblestudents and protestant groups as well as by many Jewish groups who also celebrate the anniversary of the day God gave the Torah to the entire Israelite nation assembled at Mount Sinai. For several protestants and Jews the weekend is used to commemorate the first harvested fruits. Shavuot, Shavuos  or Shabhuʿoth as the Festival of Weeks or Pentecost is also called, was in the old times the commemoration of the first day on which individuals could bring the Bikkurim (first fruits) to the Temple in Jerusalem (Mishnah Bikkurim 1:3). During the existence of the Temple the first-fruits were offered as well as a sacrifice of two loaves of bread from the new harvest and the Bikkurim were brought from the Seven Species for which the Land of Israel is praised: wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives, and dates.

Child of commandments - bar mitzvah ceremony

“And perform the Festival of Weeks for yourself, of the first-fruits of wheat harvest, and the Festival of Ingathering at the turn of the year. ”
(Exodus 34:22 The Scriptures 1998+)
“‘And from the morrow after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, you shall count for yourselves: seven completed Sabbaths. ‘Until the morrow after the seventh Sabbath you count fifty days, then you shall bring a new grain offering to יהוה.  ‘Bring from your dwellings for a wave offering two loaves of bread, of two-tenths of an ĕphah of fine flour they are, baked with leaven, first-fruits to יהוה. ‘And besides the bread, you shall bring seven lambs a year old, perfect ones, and one young bull and two rams. They are a burnt offering to יהוה, with their grain offering and their drink offerings, an offering made by fire for a sweet fragrance to יהוה. ‘And you shall offer one male goat as a sin offering, and two male lambs a year old, as a peace offering. ‘And the priest shall wave them, besides the bread of the first-fruits, as a wave offering before יהוה, besides the two lambs. They are set-apart to יהוהfor the priest. ‘And on this same day you shall proclaim a set-apart gathering for yourselves, you do no servile work on it – a law forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations. ”
(Leviticus 23:15-21 The Scriptures 1998+)
“therefore you shall guard the commands of  יהוה your Elohim, to walk in His ways and to fear Him. “For  יהוה your Elohim is bringing you into a good land, a land of streams of water, of fountains and springs, that flow out of valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey, a land in which you eat bread without scarcity, in which you do not lack at all, a land whose stones are iron and out of whose hills you dig copper. “And you shall eat and be satisfied, and shall bless  יהוה your Elohim for the good land which He has given you. “Be on guard, lest you forget  יהוה your Elohim by not guarding His commands, and His right-rulings, and His laws which I command you today, lest you eat and shall be satisfied, and build lovely houses and shall dwell in them, and your herds and your flocks increase, and your silver and your gold are increased, and all that you have is increased, that your heart then becomes lifted up, and you forget יהוה your Elohim who brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim, from the house of bondage, who led you through that great and awesome wilderness – fiery serpents and scorpions and thirst – where there was no water, who brought water for you out of the flinty rock, who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, in order to humble you and to try you, to do you good in the end, you then shall say in your heart, ‘My power and the strength of my hand have made for me this wealth!’ “But you shall remember  יהוה your Elohim, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, in order to establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is today. “And it shall be, if you by any means forget  יהוה your Elohim, and follow other mighty ones, and serve them and bow yourself to them, I have warned you this day that you shall certainly perish. “Like the nations which  יהוה is destroying before you, so you are to perish, because you did not obey the voice of  יהוה your Elohim. ”
(Deuteronomy 8:6-20 The Scriptures 1998+)
““And you shall perform the Festival of Weeks to יהוה  your Elohim, according to the voluntary offering from your hand, which you give as יהוה  your Elohim blesses you. ”
(Deuteronomy 16:10 The Scriptures 1998+)

For traditional, orthodox and Messianic Jews plus non-trinitarian Christians it is also the celebration of the people receiving the Torah, which is the spiritual food believers can get to fulfil their life.  Just as Passover and Tabernacles were associated with historical events, so Pentecost was brought together with the day on which the Torah was given on Sinai (Ex. R. 31; Shab. 88a; Pes. 68b; Maimonides, “Moreh,” 3. 41; comp. Ex. 19. 1).

The children are giving the new ministers to the Lord as a wave offering

The idea is is also that believers in the Only One God Almighty need previously to come into the proper attitude of heart to receive His favours and to be advantaged by them. Even in the attitude of prayer and thanksgiving we probably do not discern one-half of our causes for gratitude, as we shall see them by and by, when we shall know even as we are known. We do have to think about the gifts God gives us in nature. As such the Creator has provided the necessary things on this earth which we do have to respect and which is able to provide us with the necessary things if we not tamper with them.

To fill the high demand for dairy foods over the Shavuos holiday in Moldova's capital of Kishinev, the country's Chief Rabbi Zalman Abelsky sent a crew of Mashgichim to certify a large Kosher-quantity of milk at a local dairy farm.

Pentecost was thus the concluding festival of the grain harvest, just as the eighth day of Tabernacles was the concluding festival of the fruit harvest. Several Belgian Jews bring several nights together to study the Law or Torah and to celbrate the festival known in Mishnah and Talmud as “‘Aẓeret” ( or ), excepting in Megillah Ta’anit i., where (= “the Feast of Weeks“) occurs, which is explained as meaning “‘Aẓeret.”
Pentecost falls on the 6th of Siwan and never occurs on Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday. Outside of Palestine the Orthodox Jews, of which there is a huge settlement in Antwerp, have since the exilic period celebrated the following day also, as “the second day of Shabu’ot.” For them as for certain protestants Pentecost is the fiftieth day of ‘Omer, beginning from the second day of Passover.

"When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place." (Acts 2:1)

For the Christians it is also the great festival to remember that the frightened apostles received the Holy Spirit so that they could come out and speak freely about the resurrection of Christ and the coming Kingdom of God. Ten days after Jesus ascended into heaven, the twelve apostles, Jesus’ mother and family, and many other of His disciples gathered together in Jerusalem for the Jewish harvest festival that was celebrated on the fiftieth day after Passover. While they were indoors praying, a sound like that of a rushing wind filled the house and tongues of fire descended and rested over each of their heads. This was the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on human flesh promised by God through the prophet Joel.

“And after this it shall be that I pour out My Spirit on all flesh. And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men dream dreams, your young men see visions.
(Joel 2:28 The Scriptures 1998+)

Icon of the Pentecost

Image via Wikipedia

The Descent of the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles took away their fear and gave them power to speak in many tongues (languages) so that they could be understood by many. (You can read the Biblical account of Pentecost in Acts 2:1-41). Several people after being convinced about the Truth asked then to become baptised. In the Roman Catholic Church and certain Protestant groups the name Whitsunday came from the white garments which were worn by those who were baptised during the vigil. Pentecost (Ancient Greek: Πεντηκοστή [ἡμέρα], Pentēkostē [hēmera], “the Fiftieth [day]”; “Pfingsten” in German; Pinksteren in Dutch or Sinksen Sinxen, a corruption from the Old French sinquiesme for “the fiftieth” (day after Easter or 14 Nisan).

Several protestant groups still use the weekend of Pentecost to baptise new members, often in preparation for their wedding which is being held a few weeks or moths later.

Though many Belgians are just name-Christians who not really believe and do not follow the Papal prescriptions or laws of their Catholic church they have those childbaptisms, first and second communions traditionally as feasts like the heathen also present in that weekend their Lent feast. It has even become fashion often to invite more than thirty visitors.

Plechtige communie Steendorp

Second communion in Steendorp

Sacrament of confirmation

The Catholics often use the period of Ascension and Pentecost to have the first and second  Communion of children or for receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation. According to the Bible people can only get baptised when they have attained to years of knowledge and discretion, but in that Church child baptism is done, so they could not decide for themselves to go for God. Therefore at the age of 6 or 7  thy have a celebration to show that they are from then onwards able to receive the Eucharist and between 11 and 13 they receive the Confirmation accepting them as full members of the Catholic Church. In Christian denominations that practice Believer’s Baptism (baptism by voluntary decision, as opposed to baptism in early infancy), the ritual can be carried out after the age of accountability has arrived. Some traditions withhold the rite of Holy Communion from those not yet at the age of accountability, on the grounds that children do not understand what the sacrament means.

Bar Mitzvahs and Bat Mitzvahs in Pittsburgh, Butler and Cranberry Township PA

Bar Mitzvahs and Bat Mitzvahs in Pittsburgh

The heathen also have a Feast of Lent and a feast for the 12 year old children celebrating that they are come of age, the same as the Bar Mitzvah (Hebrew: בר מצוה‎) and Bat Mitzvah (Hebrew: בת מצוה‎) . In the Jewish faith, boys reach religious maturity at the age of thirteen and are bar mitzvahed (“bar mitzvah” means “son of the commandment”). Girls mature earlier, and are bat mitzvahed (“bat mitvzah” means “daughter of the commandment) at twelve.
By many folks the age of 12 it is considered the turning point that children, as they have come in Early-Adolescence, should know what they do and have to bear their own responsibility.  It is expected that they came unto the point in their life where they will be drawn to make a decision about whom they will follow. In Jewish families and serious Christian families it is from then onwards expected that the child thinks more about God, His Word and His Law and that they are going to take part more in the ritual law, tradition, and ethics, participating in all areas of believers community life. Ceremonies to confirm the coming of age or held at the Pentecost weekend or in the holiday week of the Crocus holiday.

For those concerned with nature, the Whitsun-weekend is also ideally to take time to visit open gardens and to share their interest in gardening with others in special ‘garden-weekends’.
Others find it an ideal time to prepare themselves for Summertime and to have their body especially treated in a wellness arrangement.

Frahan JPG01

Landscape of Frahan inside the bend of the Semois River seen from the point of view alongside the Alle road at Rochehaut, Ardennes _ Photo Jean-Pol Grandmont

Others do take the weekend with some extra days of overtime they got saved to enjoy themselves at the Coast or in the Ardennes, a region of extensive forests, rolling hills and ridges.

With all those activities the hotels, restaurants, domestic caterers, tent, conference rooms, and holiday cottages rent businesses do have one of their best days of the year.

As such it is not clear how minister De Crem wants to get the people to consume more when they have to be back at work on the Monday and have less time for leisure or meditation.

Those who want to have a gathering at home and do all the cooking and washing up, for sure or not going to invite too many people, having to face the washing-up either to do late at night or on the next day after work.

Pentecost feast in Stevoort

Many weekends shall not be held or at least not for two or three days, so people would spend less time with each other at an other place than home and having to pay over there for drinks and food.

For sure they shall be saving a lot of money they probably could set aside for their Summer-holiday abroad or for the time they shall go in retirement and go to live in an other country to spend there their savings.

In any case the small businesses shall retrieve lesser work, while those big firms who do not pay tax, or not much tax, shall be able to have the people working hard for them another day, producing more products to be sold to the Belgians and others, while the money retrieved can be invested in other countries. The smaller business shall not need so many people, because having less work, so they shall have to dismiss some people, having them receiving money from the government.

De toren van scouting Mira Ceti  op de Pinksterfeesten in Nistelrode. foto Edith Verwegen/bd

Nistelrode Pentecosthappening

To who’s favour is the minister working and giving the government his wonderful ideas to get more money in the country? Perhaps he is aiming at the visitors from abroad who shall take in the place of the many Belgian tourists in their own country, who shall have to enjoy their time in the factory or the office, while they can dream of better times.


Find also:

Wave Offering

Wave Offering and The Consecration of the Priesthood

Chag Shavuot + Shavuot — Pentecost — Feast of Weeks + Feast Days (Moedim)

Often we are asked what do we do for Shavuot? It is our tradition to go to a place other than our hometown and celebrate from Erev Shabbat through the end of Shavuot (Sunday night). We have rented various places over the years, including an armory, conference/retreat centers, and various meeting halls at State Campgrounds as well as day-use picnic areas.

God giving His Law to the World

Something For Shavuos
Here’s a nice dvar torah for you to enjoy before shavuos. It’s from Rabbi Tzvi Freeman, the lead editor of, and describes the uniqueness of Torah. > Tzvi Freeman on ‘Torah’ + Shabbos Chazon Dvar Torah: Jewish History Lesson Time

Shavuos byRabbi Shimon Finkelman

From Yeshiva University: Shavuot To-Go 5771

Milking Cows for Shavuos

Pentecost in Acts 2:1 was the first day of the Week (Sunday) – Pentecost always fell on the first day (Sunday)

Children of commandments


About Marcus Ampe

Retired dancer, choreographer, choreologist Founder of the Dance impresario office and archive: Danscontact-Dansarchief plus the Association for Bible scholars, the Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" and "From Guestwriters" and creator of the site "Messiah for all". - Gepensioneerd danser, choreograaf, choreoloog. Stichter van Danscontact-Dansarchief plus van de Vereniging voor Bijbelvorsers, de Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" en "From Guestwriters" en maker van de site "Messiah for all".
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