Good Friday is a Christian holiday that observes the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. This day falls on the Friday immediately before Easter Sunday, the day in which Jesus is thought to have risen out of his grave into Heaven. This holiday is observed in many regions of the world, and some people take the day off of work. Celebrations can vary depending on what sect of Christianity one follows.
Good Friday commemorates the day in which Jesus was convicted of blasphemy by the Roman high priest and sentenced to crucifixion. He was not believed to be the son of God, and therefore punished for what the priest viewed as a crime. Christians view this day as so important in the history of their religion because this act is considered as Jesus dying for the sins of all man.
Secret followers of Jesus Christ kept his body and enclosed it in a tomb. That following Sunday, the body was missing, and Christians believe this act was him rising from the grave. That particular Sunday is better known as Easter Sunday. Easter is considered the most important holiday in the Christian religion, and Good Friday is closely followed.
Church Observations and Celebrations
While Easter Sunday has turned into a mainstream holiday in many aspects, Good Friday is not. Christians take Good Friday very seriously, and they celebrate it in numerous ways. Catholics often fast for the entire day, while others in the same sect might fast with the exception of one meal. Others still may exclude one food group from their daily meals, such as meat and fish.
Christians from all branches of the religion may put on plays to reenact the crucifixion of Jesus. These are often church events, although some communities take these reenactments out into the streets for the public to witness. Such acts are considered important in a time where Easter Sunday often takes precedence over Good Friday, and consumers are more concerned over the Easter Bunny than what these Christian holidays really mean.
In the midst of a busy society, many western Christians simply go to church on Good Friday. This is especially the case in the United States where many people do not get the day off work for celebrations. Pictures of Jesus as well as crosses are often displayed on this holiday.
The extent of public celebrations depends on where Good Friday is celebrated. While a large portion of the world’s population observes this holiday, it is not considered a government holiday in most cases. For example, the U.S. does not officially consider Good Friday as a federal holiday, which means that all related offices are open. At the same time, however, individual states have the option of making this a holiday in which offices at the state level close. Sometimes Good Friday occurs during the week of spring break; in this instance, school professionals and students have the day off.
Other countries do regard Good Friday as a public holiday. While this is more common in eastern nations, the United Kingdom is one example of a western nation that still closes its government on Good Friday.
Just as Easter does not fall on the same date every year, Good Friday depends on the March Equinox. It can occur as soon as March, and as late as mid-April. In 2012, Good Friday occurred on April 6th, while it is slated to take place on March 29th in 2013. In 2014, Good Friday is scheduled for April 18th.
Good Friday Gift Ideas