Good Friday is a Christian festival that commemorates Jesus’ crucifixion and death at Calvary. It is observed as part of the Paschal Triduum during Holy Week. Holy Friday, Great Friday, Great and Holy Friday (sometimes Holy and Great Friday), and Black Friday are all names for the same day.
Good Friday is observed as a national holiday. The public has the day off, and most schools and businesses are closed.
Good Friday, like Easter, is commemorated in a variety of ways all around the world. Germany and New Zealand, for example, have intriguing laws in place to commemorate the day, and folklore has it that eggs and buns blessed on this day would never deteriorate or get moldy.
1. It might happen on any of the days between March 20 and April 23.
Because Easter is a “moveable feast,” the date of Good Friday varies from year to year. It all comes down to the lunar calendar, and the first full moon following the spring equinox in particular.
2. Hot cross buns are thought to bring good fortune.
These sweet, dense pastries, which are usually baked on Good Friday and eaten on Easter Sunday, are thought to bring good fortune. According to legend, buns prepared on this day will never spoil, will protect you from shipwrecks, and will even defend your home from fire.
3. It was just a few years ago that it was declared a national holiday in Cuba.
The Cuban government agreed with Pope Benedict XVI’s proposal to make Good Friday an official holiday in 2012, allowing citizens to stay at home and enjoy the holy day without having to take time off work.
4. Lent comes to an end on this day.
Lent (a 40-day time of religious sacrifice) may end on Good Friday, Holy Thursday, Holy Saturday, or Easter Sunday, depending on your beliefs.
5. Fasting is a relatively frequent practice.
On Good Friday, devout Catholics between the ages of 18 and 59 are expected to fast. Fasting allows for one large meal and two smaller meals, according to the Conference of Catholic Bishops. If possible, the fast should endure until Holy Saturday night’s Easter vigil.
6. The name “Good Friday” has no documented origin.
There are several hypotheses about the origins of the name Good Friday, however, none of them are supported by evidence. Many people think “Good” denotes “Holy,” while others feel “Good” is a gradual transition from “God.” Each country’s and language’s interpretations and translations are distinct.
7. It goes by several names.
In the United States, the Friday before Easter is known as Good Friday, but in other countries, it is known as Easter Friday, Holy Friday, Great Friday, or Silent Friday.
8. On April 3, the first Good Friday supposedly happened.
Andreas Köstenberger and Justin Taylor completed their research and discovered that the first Good Friday was celebrated on April 3, A.D. 33.
9. Holy Saturday is the Saturday following Good Friday and preceding Easter Sunday.
Holy Week is the week leading up to Easter, which begins on Palm Sunday the week prior. It’s a wonderful moment for Christians and Catholics to pray, ponder, and perhaps do some cooking and shopping in preparation for Easter.