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Lesson Transcript

In French, it’s called Pentecôte.
Do you know about Pentecost? It’s a public holiday and a Christian holiday celebrated in France fifty days after Easter. We’re going to tell you more about Pentecost in this lesson.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question?
Which animal is featured on the Day of Pentecost in France?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later, so keep listening.
The name of this holiday comes from Greek. Pentecost means “fiftieth day.” The Feast of the Pentecost is very old. The Israelites celebrated it on the occasion of the harvest and in memory of the Tablets of Law, or Tables de la Loi, given to Moses, and the Jews still celebrate it. Christians commemorate the arrival of the Holy Spirit, or Esprit saint, to the apostles fifty days after the Resurrection, therefore Pentecost is celebrated fifty days after Easter.
Before the Revolution in France, the week following Pentecost was a public holiday. But in 1801, the Concordat, or Concordat, limited the holiday to Pentecost Monday. French people would therefore have to work on the other days of the week. Pentecost Monday was designated a public holiday by law on March 8, 1886 and remained so without any major changes until 2004.
In 2004, however, a “Day of Solidarity with the Elderly,” or Journée de Solidarité envers les Personnes gées, was established through the action of the government of Jean-Pierre Raffarin to support the independence of the elderly and disabled. This law was approved after the heatwave, or canicule, of the summer of 2003, which led to the deaths of about 15,000 people. This Day of Solidarity takes the form of an extra day of work without pay for employees. It was decided that this extra workday would take place on the day of Pentecost. It’s not, however, compulsory.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question!
Do you know which animal is featured on the Day of Pentecost in France?
In the 1990s, the French Confederation of Butchers got the idea to promote veal by creating a scheme called “Pentecost veal.” In French, it’s Veau de la Pentecôte. This idea is repeated every year, and is purely commercial.
How was this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
Do you celebrate Pentecost in your country too?
Please leave a comment telling us at FrenchPod101.com and we’ll see you next time!