Cher

American singer and actress. Cher (Cherilyn Sarkisian) was born May 20, 1946. Sometimes called the Goddess of Pop, she has been described as embodying female autonomy in a male-dominated industry. She is known for her distinctive contralto singing voice and for having worked in numerous areas of entertainment, as well as adopting a variety of styles and appearances during her six-decade-long career.

Cher gained popularity in 1965 as one-half of the folk rock husband-wife duo Sonny & Cher after their song “I Got You Babe” reached number one on the American and British charts. By the end of 1967, they had sold 40 million records worldwide and had become, according to Time magazine, rock’s “it” couple. She began her solo career simultaneously, releasing in 1966 her first million-seller song, “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)”. She became a television personality in the 1970s with her shows The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour, watched by over 30 million viewers weekly during its three-year run, and Cher. She emerged as a fashion trendsetter by wearing elaborate outfits on her television shows.

While working on television, Cher established herself as a solo artist with the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart-topping singles “Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves”, “Half-Breed”, and “Dark Lady”. After her divorce from Sonny Bono in 1975, she launched a comeback in 1979 with the disco album Take Me Home and earned $300,000 a week for her 1980–82 concert residency in Las Vegas.

In 1982, Cher made her Broadway debut in the play Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean and starred in its film adaptation. She subsequently earned critical acclaim for her performances in films such as Silkwood (1983), Mask (1985), and Moonstruck (1987), for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress. She then revived her musical career by recording the rock-inflected albums Cher (1987), Heart of Stone (1989), and Love Hurts (1991), all of which yielded several successful singles.

Cher reached a new commercial peak in 1998 with the album Believe, whose title track became the biggest-selling single of all time by a female artist in the UK. It features the pioneering use of Auto-Tune, also known as the “Cher effect”. Her 2002–2005 Living Proof: The Farewell Tour became one of the highest-grossing concert tours of all time, earning $250 million. In 2008, she signed a $180 million deal to headline the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas for three years. Cher’s first studio album in 12 years, Closer to the Truth (2013), became her highest-charting solo album in the U.S. when it debuted at number three on the Billboard 200. In 2018, Cher will return to film for her first on-screen role since 2010’s Burlesque, starring in the romantic musical comedy film Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. She is also set to embark on the Australia-only Here We Go Again Tour, which is her first tour in the country in 13 years.

Cher has won a Grammy Award, an Emmy Award, an Academy Award, three Golden Globe Awards, a Cannes Film Festival Award, and a special CFDA Fashion Award, among several other honors. She has sold 100 million records worldwide to date, becoming one of the best-selling music artists in history. She is the only artist to date to have a number-one single on a Billboard chart in each decade from the 1960s to the 2010s. Outside of her music and acting, she is noted for her political views, philanthropic endeavors, and social activism, including LGBT rights and HIV/AIDS prevention.

World Bee day

IMG_5835World Bee Day is celebrated annually on May 20. The purpose of the international day is to acknowledge the crucial role of bees and other pollinators for our ecosytem and to mark the anniversary of the birth of Carniolan apiarist and painter Anton Janša, the pioneer of beekeeping, who was baptized 20 May 1734 in Breznica, Carniola (now in Slovenia) Although His exact birth date is not known

From a young age Janša, together with his two brothers, showed a great interest in painting (they had a studio in their barn) and all three brothers, despite being illiterate, went to Vienna and entered the painters’ academy there. His brother Lovro actually finished his studies at the academy and became a professor there, but Anton, despite a talent for painting, soon discovered that his true interests were in bee-keeping.

His interest in bee keeping came from his father who had over one hundred hives at home and neighbouring farmers would gather at the village and discuss farming and bee-keeping. In 1769 he began to work full-time as a bee-keeper and a year later became the first royally appointed teacher of apiculture for all Austrian lands and was employed as a teacher of apiculture at the Habsburg court in Vienna WhereHe kept bees in the imperial gardens (Augarten) and travelled around Austria presenting his observations in regard to moving hives to various pastures.

He became famous for his lectures in which he demonstrated his knowledge of bees. He also wrote two books in German: Discussion on Bee-keeping (1771) after his death. In his Full guide he noted: Bees are a type of fly, hardworking, created by God to provide man with all needed honey and wax. Amongst all God’s beings there are none so hard working and useful to man with so little attention needed for its keep as the bee. He is also noted for changing the size and shape of hives to a form where they can be stacked together like blocks. As a painter he also decorated the fronts of hives with paintings. Janša rejected the belief that the male bees are water carriers and assumed that the queen-bee is fertilized mid-air. He advocated moving hives to pastures. He sadly died in Vienna 13 September 1773 and following his death The Empress Maria Theresa issued a decree obliging all teachers of apiculture to use his books. His second book A Full guide to Bee-keeping was published posthumously in 1775. The UN Member States approved Slovenia’s proposal to proclaim 20 May as World Bee Day in December 2017.

Joe Cocker OBE

English Rock and Blues singer John Robert “Joe” Cocker, OBE was Born 20 May 1944 In, Crookes, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, Cocker received his nickname of Joe either from playing a childhood game called “Cowboy Joe”, or from a local window cleaner named Joe. Cocker’s main musical influences growing up were Ray Charles and Lonnie Donegan. Cocker’s first experience singing in public was at age 12 in his brother Victor’s skiffle group. In 1960, along with three friends, Cocker formed his first group, the Cavaliers and Cocker left school to become an apprentice gasfitter while simultaneously pursuing a career in music

He was known for his gritty voice, spasmodic body movement in performance, and cover versions of popular songs, particularly those of the Beatles.In 1961, under the stage name Vance Arnold, Cocker continued his career with a new group, Vance Arnold and the Avengers. Who mostly played in the pubs of Sheffield, performing covers of Chuck Berry and Ray Charles songs. Cocker developed an interest in blues music particularly John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Lightnin’ Hopkins and Howlin’ Wolf.In 1963, they supported the Rolling Stones at Sheffield City Hall. In 1964, Cocker released his first single, a cover of the Beatles’ “I’ll Cry Instead” (with Big Jim Sullivan and Jimmy Page playing guitars)

In 1966, Cocker teamed up with Chris Stainton, to form the Grease Band.” Like the Avengers, Cocker’s group mostly played in pubs in and around Sheffield. The Grease Band came to the attention of Denny Cordell, the producer of Procol Harum, the Moody Blues and Georgie Fame. Cocker recorded the single “Marjorine” without the Grease Band and Cordell set Cocker up with a residency at the Marquee Club in London, and a “new” Grease Band was formed with Stainton and keyboardist Tommy Eyre. After minor success in the United States with the single “Marjorine”, Cocker released “With a Little Help from My Friends”, another Beatles cover, which, many years later, was used as the opening theme for The Wonder Years, which features lead guitar from Jimmy Page,

During his United States tour, Cocker played at several large festivals, including the Newport Rock Festival and the Denver Pop Festival And the Woodstock festival, performing several songs, including “Delta Lady”, “Something’s Comin’ On”, “Let’s Go Get Stoned”, “I Shall Be Released”, and “With a Little Help from My Friends. Directly after Woodstock, Cocker released his second album, Joe Cocker! For which Cocker also covered the Beatles “She Came In Through the Bathroom Window” and “Something” and the Leon Russell song, “Delta Lady”. In August 1969, Cocker performed at the Isle of Wight Festival at Wootton Bridge, Isle of Wight, England.

in 1970 Joe Cocker toured America With a group of more than 30 musicians, including pianist and bandleader Leon Russell, three drummers, and backing vocalists Rita Coolidge and Claudia Lennear. the new band was christened “Mad Dogs & Englishmen”, after the Noël Coward song of the same name. Cocker’s music evolved into a more bluesy type of rock, compared to that of the Rolling Stones. Despite having several hits including “Cry Me a River”, “Feelin’ Alright” and “The Letter”, the pace of the tour was exhausting and his family became increasingly concerned with his deteriorating physical and mental health. Russell and Cocker both had personal problems; Cocker became depressed and began drinking excessively. Cocker also wrote the overture played by the UK Prime Minister Edward Heath on the occasion the Prime Minister famously conducted a live orchestra while in office. In 1971, Cocker released “High Time We Went”.

After touring the United States, he Toured Europe, playing Italy and Germany before returning to the United States and Australia in 1972 where he and six members of his entourage were arrested in Adelaide for possession of marijuana and he was Charged with Assault the next day, in Melbourne, after a brawl at the Commodore Chateau Hotel, and the Australian Federal Police gave Cocker 48 hours to leave the country. This sparked a debate about the use and legalisation of marijuana in Australia, and gained Cocker the nickname “the Mad Dog”. In 1974, Cocker released the album “I can Stand A Little Rain”which contained a cover of Dennis Wilson and Billy Preston’s “You Are So Beautiful” and in 1975 he released a second album , Jamaica Say You Will. In late 1975, he contributed vocals on a number of the tracks on Bo Diddley’s The 20th Anniversary of Rock ‘n’ Roll all-star album and also recorded the album “Stingray” in Kingston, Jamaica. In 1976, Cocker performed “Feelin’ Alright” on Saturday Night Live. For which John Belushi joined him onstage doing his famous impersonation of Cocker’s stage movements.

In 1977 Cocker embarked on a tour of New Zealand, Australia, and South America. He then recorded a new album Luxury you Can Afford before touring North America in 1978. In 1979, Cocker joined the “Woodstock in Europe” tour, which featured musicians like Arlo Guthrie and Richie Havens who had played at the 1969 Woodstock Festival. He also performed in New York’s Central Park and also toured Europe and appeared on the German television recording amphitheatre, Rockpalast, the first of many performances on the show. In 1982,

Cocker recorded two songs with the jazz group the Crusaders on their album Standing Tall. One song, and “I’m So Glad I’m Standing Here Today”, which was nominated for a Grammy Award. Cocker then released a new reggae-influenced album, Sheffield Steel, recorded with the Compass Point All Stars. Then In 1982, Cocker recorded the duet “Up Where We Belong” with Jennifer Warnes for the soundtrack of the 1982 film An Officer and a Gentleman. Which was an international hit, and won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo and an Academy Award for Best Original Song. He also performed “You Are So Beautiful” with Ray Charles in a television tribute to the musician and joined Ronnie Lane’s 1983 tour to raise money for the London-based organisation Action for Research into Multiple Sclerosis, with other Musicians such as Pete Townshend, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck and Chris Stainton.

In 1983 Cocker was arrested by Austrian police Shortly after the incident, he released his ninth studio album, Civilized Man. His next album Cocker was dedicated to his mother, Madge, who had recently died which featured the song “You Can Leave Your Hat On” which was featured in the 1986 film 9½ Weeks. He also released the 1987 album Unchain My Heart. In 1988, he performed at London’s Royal Albert Hall and appeared on The Tonight Show. After Barclay James Harvest and Bob Dylan, Cocker was the first to give rock concerts in the German Democratic Republic, in East Berlin and Dresden. The venue, the Blüherwiese, next to the Rudolf–Harbig–Stadion, bears the vernacular name Cockerwiese (Cocker meadow) today. Healso performed for President George H. W. Bush at an inauguration concert in 1989. In 1992, he released a cover of Bryan Adams’ “Feels Like Forever”. In 1992, Joe Cocker teamed with Canadian rocker Sass Jordan to sing “Trust in Me”, which was featured on The Bodyguard soundtrack and was nominated for Best British Mail At the 1993 Brit Awards. Cocker also performed the opening set at Woodstock ’94 as one of the few alumni who played at the original Woodstock Festival in 1969. In 2002 Cocker performed “With A Little Help From My Friends” accompanied by Phil Collins on drums and Queen guitarist Brian May at the Party at the Palace concert in the grounds of Buckingham Palace, to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.

In 2007, Cocker appeared in the film Across the Universe, as the lead singer on another Beatles’ hit, “Come Together” and was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s 2007 Birthday Honours list for services to music and was awarded a bronze Sheffield Legends plaque in his hometown. In 2009 Cocker toured North American and sang the vocals on “Little Wing” for the Carlos Santana album, Guitar Heaven: The Greatest Guitar Classics of All Time, and in 2010, Cocker toured Europe promoting his new album Hard Knocks. In 2011, Cocker took part in a benefit concert for Cornell Dupree at B.B. King’s Blues Club in New York. Dupree played on two Cocker albums: Stingray (1976) and Luxury You Can Afford (1978). Cocker was Also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame shortly before he sadly died of lung cancer on 22 December 2014 in Crawford, Colorado. Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, were among those who paid tribute to the singer, who was “without doubt the greatest rock/soul singer ever to come out of Britain.” And was ranked No. 97 on Rolling Stone’s 100 greatest singers list.

R. J. Mitchell

British Aeronautical Engineer and designer of the Supermarine Spitfire Reginald Joseph Mitchell CBE, FRAeS, was born 20 May 1895. In 1917 he joined the Supermarine Aviation Works at Southampton. Advancing quickly within the company, Mitchell was appointed Chief Designer in 1919. He was made Chief Engineer in 1920 and Technical Director in 1927. He was so highly regarded that, when Vickers took over Supermarine in 1928, one of the conditions was that Mitchell stay as a designer for the next five years. Between 1920 and 1936, Mitchell designed 24 aircraft including light aircraft, fighters and bombers. As Supermarine was primarily a seaplane manufacturer, this included a number of flying boats such as the Supermarine Sea Eagle, the Supermarine Sea King, the Supermarine Walrus and Supermarine Stranraer. However, he is best remembered for his work on a series of racing aircraft, which culminated in the Supermarine S.6B, and the famous Supermarine Spitfire short range Interceptor/fighter.

The S.6B was a British racing seaplane developed by Mitchell for the Supermarine company to take part in the Schneider Trophy competition of 1931. The S.6B marked the culmination of Mitchell’s quest to “perfect the design of the racing seaplane” and was the last in the line of racing seaplanes developed by Supermarine that followed the S.4, S.5 and the Supermarine S.6.The S.6B won the Trophy in 1931 and later broke the world air speed record. Mitchell was awarded the CBE in 1932 for his contribution to high-speed flight.

In 1931 the Air Ministry issued specification F7/30 for a fighter aircraft to replace the Gloster Gauntlet. Mitchell’s proposed design, the Type 224 was one of three designs for which the Air Ministry ordered prototypes. The Supermarine Spitfire prototype, K5054, first flew on 19 February 1934, but was eventually rejected by the RAF because of its unsatisfactory performance. While the 224 was being built, Mitchell was authorised by Supermarine in 1933 to proceed with a new design, the Type 300, an all-metal monoplane that would become the Supermarine Spitfire. This was originally a private venture by Supermarine, but the RAF quickly became interested and the Air Ministry financed a prototype. The first prototype Spitfire, serial K5054, flew for the first time on 5 March 1936 at Eastleigh, Hampshire. In later tests, it reached 349 mph, consequently, before the prototype had completed its official trials, the RAF ordered 310 production Spitfires.

The Spitfire was built in many variants, using several wing configurations, and was produced in greater numbers than any other British aircraft. It was also the only British fighter to be in continuous production throughout the war. During the Battle of Britain (July–October 1940), the Spitfire was perceived by the public to be the RAF fighter, though the more numerous Hawker Hurricane shouldered a greater proportion of the burden against the Luftwaffe. However, because of its higher performance, Spitfire units had a lower attrition rate and a higher victory-to-loss ratio than those flying Hurricanes.

After the Battle of Britain, the Spitfire superseded the Hurricane to become the backbone of RAF Fighter Command, and saw action in the European, Mediterranean, Pacific and the South-East Asian theatres. Much loved by its pilots, the Spitfire served in several roles, including interceptor, photo-reconnaissance, fighter-bomber and trainer, and it continued to serve in these roles until the 1950s. The Seafire was a carrier-based adaptation of the Spitfire which served in the Fleet Air Arm from 1942 through to the mid-1950s. Although the original airframe was designed to be powered by a Rolls-Royce Merlin engine producing 1,030 hp (768 kW), it was strong enough and adaptable enough to use increasingly powerful Merlin and, in later marks, Rolls-Royce Griffon engines producing up to 2,340 hp (1,745 kW); as a consequence of this the Spitfire’s performance and capabilities improved, sometimes dramatically, over the course of its life.

In August 1933, Mitchell underwent a colostomy to treat rectal cancer. Despite this, he continued to work, not only on the Spitfire, but also on a four-engined bomber, the Type 317. Unusually for an aircraft designer in those days, he took flying lessons and got his pilot’s licence in July 1934. In 1936 cancer was diagnosed again, and subsequently, in early 1937, Mitchell gave up work, although he was often seen watching the Spitfire being tested. Mitchell went to the American Foundation in Vienna for a month but sadly died 11 June 1937 and His ashes were interred at South Stoneham Cemetery, Hampshire four days later. He was succeeded as Chief Designer at Supermarine by Joseph Smith, who took over as chief designer and was responsible for the further development of the Spitfire. Nevertheless, Mitchell’s design was so sound that the Spitfire was continually improved throughout the Second World War. Over 22,000 Spitfires and derivatives were built. Mitchell’s career was depicted in the film The First of the Few and The Spitfire continues to be popular with approximately 53 Spitfires being airworthy, while many more are static exhibits in aviation museums all over the world.

Pentecost/ Whit Sunday

The Christian holiday of Pentecost, is celebrated on the fiftieth day after Passover, and commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus Christ while they were in Jerusalem celebrating the Feast of Weeks. Some Christians believe this event represents the birth of the Church. The holy day is also called “White Sunday” or “Whitsunday”, especially in the United Kingdom, where traditionally the next day, Whit Monday, was also a public holiday (now fixed by statute on the last Monday in May). In Eastern Christianity, Pentecost can also refer to the entire fifty days of Easter through Pentecost inclusive; hence the book containing the liturgical texts for Paschaltide is called the “Pentecostarion”. The date of Pentecost depends upon the date of Easter—it is, therefore, called a moveable feast. In Germany Pentecost is denominated “Pfingsten” and often coincides with scholastic holidays and the beginning of many outdoor and springtime activities, such as festivals and organized outdoor activities by youth organizations. The Monday after Pentecost is a legal holiday in many European nations.

The Christian feast of Pentecost falls on the fiftieth day after Easter. Because Easter itself has no fixed date, this makes Pentecost a moveable feast. The date for the “Feast of Weeks” came the day after seven full weeks following the first harvest of grain.” Thus, it is also known as the “fiftieth day” or Pentecost. It is called fifty days in Scripture, because the Hebrew way of calculating counts the beginning and ending days. In early Judaism, the Festival of Weeks (Hebrew: שבועות‎‎, Shavuot) was a harvest festival that was celebrated seven weeks after the beginning of the harvest or seven weeks after the Sabbath. Counting both the first and last days, it is “fifty days” from the day after Passover Sabbath to the day after the Pentecost Sabbath.The fiftieth day was known as the Festival of Weeks. This feast eventually received the name Pentecost, from the Koine Greek word Pentekoste, meaning “fiftieth day.” The actual mention of “fifty days” comes from Leviticus 23:16. The Festival of Weeks was also called the feast of Harvest in Exodus 23:16 and the day of first fruits in Numbers 28:26. In Exodus 34:22 it is called the “firstfruits of the wheat harvest.

The biblical narrative of Pentecost is given in the second chapter of the Book of Acts. Present were about one hundred and twenty followers of Christ (Acts 1:15), including the Twelve Apostles (i.e. the Eleven faithful disciples and Matthias who was Judas’ replacement). While those on whom the Spirit had descended were speaking in many languages, the Apostle Peter proclaimed to the crowd that this event was the fulfillment of the prophecy (“I will pour out my spirit). Those who gladly received his word were baptized.

The Cenacle on Mount Zion, is claimed to be the location of the Last Supper and Pentecost and Traditional interpretation holds that the Descent of the Holy Spirit took place in the Upper Room, or Cenacle, while celebrating the day of Pentecost (Shavuot). The Upper Room was first mentioned in Luke 22:12–13. This Upper Room was to be the location of the Last Supper and the institution of Holy Communion. Here the disciples and women prayed And then went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.

Priests or ministers, and choirs wear red vestments, as do many members of the congregation. Red banners are often hung from walls or ceilings to symbolize the blowing of the “mighty wind” and the free movement of the Spirt. The celebrations often include other symbols of the Holy Spirit, such as the dove or flames, symbols of the church such as Noah’s Ark and the Pomegranate, or , red flowering plants such as geraniums and poinsettias around the church are also typical decorations for Pentecost masses/services. These symbolize the renewal of life, the coming of the warmth of summer, In the southern hemisphere, In Australia, Pentecost comes during Autumn, and the red leaves of the poinsettia have often been used to decorate churches. In German speaking lands, in Central Europe, green branches are also used to decorate churches for Pentecost.

Pentecost hymns such as Martin Luther’s “Komm, Heiliger Geist, Herre Gott” (Come, Holy Spirit, God and Lord), Charles Wesley’s “Spirit of Faith Come Down”and “Come Holy Ghost Our Hearts Inspire”or Hildegard von Bingen’s “O Holy Spirit Root of Life” and “Oh that I had a Thousand Voices” (“O daß ich tausend Zungen hätte”) by Johann Mentzer. Trumpeters or brass ensembles are used to recall the sound of the mighty wind. Another custom is reading the appointed Scripture lessons in multiple foreign languages recounting the speaking in tongues recorded in Acts 2:4–12.

In the Middle Ages, cathedrals and great churches throughout Western Europe were fitted with a peculiar architectural feature known as a Holy Ghost hole: a small circular opening in the roof that symbolized the entrance of the Holy Spirit into the midst of the congregation. At Pentecost, these Holy Ghost holes would be decorated with flowers, and sometimes a dove figure lowered through into the church while the narrative of Pentecost was read. A large two dimensional dove figure is sometimes lowered over the congregation, during the singing of the sequence hymn, or Veni Creator Spiritus. rose petals may also be thrown from the galleries over the congregation, recalling the tongues of fire. Red fans,or red handkerchiefs or red balloons may be distributed to the congregation to be waved during the procession signifying the “Birthday of the Church”. The nine days between Ascension Day, and Pentecost are often set aside as a time of fasting and universal prayer in honor of the disciples’ time of prayer and unity awaiting the Holy Spirit. Roman Catholics, pray special Pentecost novenas derived from those original nine days of prayer observed by the disciples of Christ. The Eve of Pentecost was traditionally a day of fasting for Catholics, and both Catholics and Protestants may hold spiritual retreats, prayer vigils, and litanies in the days leading up to Pentecost.During early days of Western Christianity, Pentecost became one of the days set aside to celebrate Baptism.

the term Whit Sunday derives from the custom of the newly baptized wearing white clothing, and from the white vestments worn by the clergy in English liturgical uses. The holiday was also one of the three days each year (along with Christmas and Easter) Roman Catholics were required to confess and receive Holy Communion which also features in Protestant celebrations of Pentecost. some Reformed denominations may offer the communion meal, and is one of the days of the year specially appointed among Moravians for the celebration of their Love Feasts.

Pentecost is also a day for the Confirmation celebrations of youths. Flowers, the wearing of white robes, or white dresses recalling Baptism, rites such as the laying on of hands with the blossoming of Spring forming an equal analogy with the blossoming of youth. The typical image of Pentecost is that of the Virgin Mary seated centrally and prominently among the disciples with flames resting on the crowns of their heads, rays of light and the Dove are also depicted. Many Famous painters like Titian, Giotto, and el Greco have painted Pentecost themed art.

Pentecost Monday remains an official festival in many Protestant churches, such as the (Lutheran) Church of Sweden, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, and others. In the Byzantine Catholic Rite Pentecost Monday is a Holy Day across many Western denominations, Pentecost is celebrated with an octave culminating on Trinity Sunday. However,in the modern Roman Rite Pentecost ends after Evening Prayer on the feast day itself. in Roman Catholic beliefs Pentecost is the third of the Glorious Mysteries of the Holy Rosary, as well as being one of the Stations of the Resurrection or Via Lucis. Pentecost is an opportunity for many Christians to honor the role of the Holy Spirit in their lives, and celebrate the birth of the Church in an ecumenical context.

Some composers have also written sacred cantatas to be performed in the church services of these days. Johann Sebastian Bach composed several cantatas for days of Pentecost, including Erschallet, ihr Lieder, erklinget, ihr Saiten! Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel wrote cantatas such as Werdet voll Geistes in 1737 and Mozart composed an antiphon Veni Sancte Spiritus in 1768.Olivier Messiaen composed an organ mass Messe de la Pentecôte in 1949/50. In 1964 Fritz Werner wrote an oratorio for Pentecost Veni, sancte spiritus (Come, Holy Spirit) and Jani Christou wrote Tongues of Fire, a Pentecost oratorio. Richard Hillert wrote a Motet for the Day of Pentecost for choir, andVioleta Dinescu composed Pfingstoratorium, an oratorio for Pentecost for five soloists, mixed chorus and small orchestra in 1993.

Customs and traditions for Pentecost vary. In Italy it was customary to scatter rose petals from the ceiling of the churches to recall the miracle of the fiery tongues. In Sicily and Italy Whitsunday is called Pasqua rosatum which refers to the red colours used on Whitsunday. In France it was customary to blow trumpets to recall the sound of the mighty wind which accompanied the Descent of the Holy Spirit. In England, church and chapel parades called Whit Walks take place at Whitsun (sometimes on Whit Friday, the Friday after Whitsun). These contain brass bands and choirs; girls attending are dressed in white. Traditionally, Whit Fairs (sometimes called Whitsun Ales)took place. Other customs such as morris dancing and cheese rolling are also associated with Whitsun. ” Whitsunday” has been the name of the day in the Church of England. (The Book of Common Prayer only once uses the word “Pentecost” for the festival.

In Port Vila, the capital of Vanuatu, people originating from Pentecost Island usually celebrate their island’s name-day with a special church service followed by cultural events such as dancing. Since Pentecost itself is on a Sunday, it is automatically considered to be a public holiday in countries with large Christian denominatio. Pentecost Monday is also a public holiday in many European countries including Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania (since 2008), (most parts of) Switzerland, Ukraine and also in the African nations Senegal, Benin and Togo.

In Sweden Pentecost Monday (Annandag Pingst) was replaced by Swedish National Day on June 6. In Italy and Malta, it is no longer a public holiday. It was a public holiday in Ireland until 1973, when it was replaced by Early Summer Holiday on the first Monday in June. In the United Kingdom the day is known as Whit Monday, and was a bank holiday until 1967 when it was replaced by the Spring Bank Holiday.