Eight Sundays after Easter, Christian Churches celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit during the Jewish Festival of Pentecost. Pentecost is actually the Greek name for this festival celebrating the harvest. So rather than call this "Holy Spirit Day," Christians call this Pentecost, much the way Americans call Independence Day "the Fourth of July." The story is found in Acts 2:
The timing is significant because Jews who had spread to other countries generations ago would make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem for this festival
, and Hebrew/Aramaic was not their first language. So it is a big deal when the visitors to Jerusalem hear the words of the Apostles in their own native languages, languages the apostles would not have known. It really gets their attention, and so they really want to hear what is being said in such a miraculous way. Clearly God wanted the apostles to have a big audience!
Like Easter, the date for Pentecost is tied to the Vernal Equinox, and changes every year. While Pentecost is sometimes called "the Birthday of the Church," it be erroneous to call it the Birthday of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is at work throughout creation to the present day and beyond. The video below explains this really well:
This is a lot for kids to take in, so here is a kid-friendly video to help younger ones hear the story of Pentecost from other kids! (It's good for adults, too!)
And here are some fun activities:
Finally, this video from the series A.D. - it might have happened like this! What do you think it would have been like on that day?