Pentecost is the Christian celebration of Jesus sending his disciples the Holy Ghost, to assist them in spreading the gospel to all who would listen.
Processions are an ancient tradition and a part of Catholicism – choirs, music bands, groups of pilgrims and a wonderful array of statues and shrines, each with their own brotherhood of bearers, will solemnly walk the streets. Testimony to the strong roots of faith in contemporary Maastricht.
This particular saint is said to have brought Christianity to Maastricht and on his 4th century grave over time his church on the Vrijthof was constructed. His day is traditionally celebrated with the big spring carnival on the Vrijthof, but also by the impressive procession in the city center tomorrow!
May 4th and 5th are national commemorations of the Second World War of 1940-1945. On May 4th every town has its own ceremony and Maastricht even has two. All these local ceremonies end at 20 hrs with a nationwide silence of 2 minutes.
(The photo is of the monument on the Ginkelse Heide.)
With the televised spectacle of the royals visiting Rotterdam over, we can all enjoy King’s Day the way we prefer!
Dutch tradition, having holy days twice; Christmas, Easter and Pentecost all result in two days off. In recent years pressure is building to transfer these second days to other religions. For now, 2nd Easter day is generally considered to be the day the Dutch go shopping for furniture.
On this day Jesus’ resurrection is celebrated, first of all by jubilant ringing of all church bells, Maastricht’s largest bell Grameer to be heard all over town. Apart from the festive Mass, there is happy stuff with chocolate bunnies and searching for hidden eggs.
On this day Christianity remembers Jesus’ suffering and death, with solemn readings of the gospel in churches. Traditionally, all public life would pause around 15 hrs, assumed to be the time of his death, but this is no longer the case.
The Thursday before Easter is marked in Christianity as the day Jesus shared a last meal with his disciples. In doing so, he started the celebration of the Eucharist, sharing bread and wine to remember him, still part of every mass today. Represented a thousand times in art history, most people nowadays no longer mark this day.