Orthodox Pentecost, also known as Trinity Sunday or Triytsya [transliterated from Ukrainian], “Green Sunday”, or Whit Sunday, is one of the most important holidays in Orthodox Christian tradition celebrated in Ukraine. It is the time for Christians to commemorate the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples as it happened during the harvest festival. According to the Bible, Christ’s disciples then began to speak different languages so they could go and spread God’s word around the world (NIV, Acts 2:4). On the territories of modern Ukraine, the Orthodox Pentecost was first celebrated in XIII-XIV centuries.
In Ukraine, where the largest Christian denomination is Orthodox Christianity, Triytsya is a national holiday since Ukraine acquired independence in 1991. It is celebrated on a different day every year depending on the date of the Easter by Julian calendar. In 2019, the holiday is celebrated on the 16th of June (Sunday) which makes the following Monday, June 17th, off for all Ukrainians.
On the Orthodox Pentecost Sunday, people who are following Orthodox Christian tradition usually attend special services in churches. In addition, many still adhere to national traditions and events not related to the Church. Before the Green Sunday, people try to get all important things done and decisions made, clean and decorate their houses with herbs and green tree branches that symbolize rebirth of all living. On the Green Sunday, people should not work but enjoy the holiday and spend time with their families.
Now, with Ukraine carrying Christianity as the religion the majority of Ukrainian believers belong to, significant Orthodox Christian holidays like Triytsya will remain recognized on a state level as national holidays. For those who do not relate themselves to Christian holidays and do not follow traditions, it is still a great time to have another day off to spend with loved ones and enjoy blooming nature around.
Calendar of official holidays in Ukraine (2019). Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. Laws of Ukraine. https://zakon.rada.gov.ua/laws/main/days?lang=en
Orthodox Pentecost (2019). Public Holidays Global. https://publicholidays.com.ua/pentecost/
Holy Bible, New International Version (2019). https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts+2%3A1-13&version=NIV
Triytsya 2019 in Ukraine (May 14, 2019). 24 channel: Lifestyle. https://24tv.ua/lifestyle/triytsya_2019_ukrayina_data_koli_triytsya_2019_vihidniy_den_u_svyato_n1149670
Pentecost (2009). BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/christianity/holydays/pentecost.shtml