The “winter of our discontent” is over and thank the Gods the weather is playing along so we can enjoy a long weekend until tomorrow, Whit Monday, which is a holiday for those of us who are living in Austria, Germany or Switzerland.
Vienna has been quieter since Friday with the absence of cars in our streets. Many natives might be basking under the Italian sun right now. The Viennese might be at the Neusiedl See in Burgenland or any other Seen in Austria or Europe that has more than 25 degrees!
Coming from a strictly religious Christian country, I wonder why the Philippines doesn’t declare the Whitsunday and Monday holidays unlike the more secular German-speaking countries mentioned above.
Don’t get me wrong, I am out of the Roman Catholic fold. And like the others I have forgotten why this or that is being celebrated. But I am happy that they exist.
During my first year I was really surprised that the Austrians do observe it. I just hope that it wouldn’t get abolished like in France, Sweden or UK. I mean, I admit I really love the fact that this country enjoys its free time/days. And holidays because of the Roman Catholic Church are considered very okay.
A few hours ago watching the news channel n-tv, a giddy reporter asked a few Germans what is Pfingsten or Pentecost. Sad (well, sad?) to say, no one knew and nobody understand why it is a holiday. A few answered that it is connected to the church. That’s it.
So what do you know about the Pentecost?
According to the Catholic Encyclopedia:
A feast of the universal Church which commemorates the Descent of the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles, fifty days after the Resurrection of Christ, on the ancient Jewish festival called the “feast of weeks” or Pentecost (Exodus 34:22; Deuteronomy 16:10). Whitsunday is so called from the white garments which were worn by those who were baptised during the vigil; Pentecost (“Pfingsten” in German), is the Greek for “the fiftieth” (day after Easter).
So those of you who opted to stay in Vienna, you might have seen and/or heard the celebration of yesterday’s official opening of the new stations of U-bahn line U2.
And today you might be visiting your mums as it is also Mother’s Day. Or you could be anywhere in the city enjoying a scoop or two of Eis in any of the ice cream salons.
Or maybe you are just wrapping up the rest of the day at the Ernst Happel Stadion after stripping for Spencer Tunick.
There are lotsa exhibitions offered this month like the Wiener Bezirksfestwochen until the first week of June. It is for free, mind you.
Whatever it is, let’s enjoy this week as we are in for the nice sunny, warm days ahead.