In Ireland, the first Monday of June is a bank holiday. Like most public holidays in Ireland, this one started off as Christian holiday and lost its religious meanings. So let’s examine how this public holiday came to being. For those not familiar with the term bank holiday it is more or less the same as a public holiday.
Pentecost is a religious holiday celebrated by Christians and Jews. Though celebrated for different reasons; Christians still recognise the importance of the events of the Jewish Pentecost.
For Jews it is known as Shavuot and commemorates Moses receiving the 10 Commandments on Mount Sinai from God. It is celebrated 50 days after the first day of Passover.
For Christians, it marks the end of the Easter cycle and is celebrated 7 weeks after Easter Sunday (50 days) based on the Christian calendar. It is based on the New Testament, where the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles and Jesus’ other disciples to, bless them with the ability to speak multiple languages. This day also marks the birth of the Christian Church. It is also known as Whitsunday which refers to the white garments worn by those who were baptized.
Whit Monday is the day after Pentecost and is a holiday in many countries. Some of the traditions associated with Whit Monday are cheese rolling and Whit walks in the UK. As it is a public holiday, most people generally celebrate outside with friends and family.
Under the Bank Holidays Act 1871, Ireland adopted Whit Monday as a public holiday as it was still a part of Great Britain. In 1973, the Holidays (Employees) Act changed the date to the first Monday of June. Though it was made an official bank holiday by the British in 1871, Ireland has celebrated Whit Monday as a festive holiday many years before.
So there you have it, why Ireland has a public holiday on the first of June.
Since we’ll be having a long weekend soon, it’s a perfect time to check out the Irish Whiskey Museum. Pop in to taste our delicious Irish coffee and enjoy an above view of Trinity College.
Go on a guided tour through the museum to learn about the history of Irish whiskey and finish up in the tasting bar; where a master taster will guide you through the different tastes and aromas you will experience as you sample different whiskeys. Try the Blending Experience where you get a chance to blend your own whiskey and take home a personal bottle of it.
We have a collection of whiskey memorabilia that dates back to the 1800s as well as our new additions in the gift shop area; which features three of Ireland’s oldest whiskeys on display.