‘Good’ on Good Friday means holy or pious. The demise of Jesus manifests Jesus sacrificing himself for the good of humankind. This day marks the forgiveness of all the sins of mankind.
Good Friday also known as Great Friday, Black Friday, Easter Friday or Holy Friday is a day on which Christians commemorate the crucifixion and demise of Jesus Christ at Calvary. People often has the misconception that the most important Christian holiday is Christmas but actually it’s not. Easter is actually the most important event in Christian community. Good Friday is not a day of celebration rather it is a day of Good Friday of observation. is observed on the Friday before easter which is also called resurrection Sunday.
THE HISTORY OF GOOD FRIDAY
On this day, Jesus Christ was betrayed by one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot who turned him over to the Jewish High Priests for a reward. He was made to carry his own cross to the place of execution known as the place of the skull. After being crucified, he suffered on the cross for six long hours. It is said that at the time of his death an earthquake occurred. His followers carried away his dead body in secret and buried it in accordance to Jewish rituals. Jesus was resurrected two days later.
SIGNIFICANCE OF GOOD FRIDAY
Globally, for the Christian community good Friday holds utmost significance. Good Friday is commemorated during the holy week as part of the Paschal Triduum on the Friday preceding the Easter Sunday. It is believed by the Christians that Jesus sacrificed his life for the wrongdoings of humankind that separate them from God and for the promise of eternal salvation.
GOOD FRIDAY DATE IN 2021
Date of Good Friday varies every year. The date is decided as per Gregorian and Julian Calendars. Good Friday in 2020 was held on 10th April whereas in 2021 it will be held on 2nd April.
HOW IS GOOD FRIDAY CELEBRATED?
On the day of Good Friday people keep fasts and wholeheartedly pray to the Lord. Also, Church services start from afternoon to 3 pm. All the decorations are removed from the church. Priests wear black coloured robes. Christians don’t eat meat. The traditional food which is eaten is hot cross buns. Again, many of them do eat fish instead of meat as it comes from sea and is a different kind of flesh. Food preparation starts a week prior to Good Friday. Christians make dough for being needed and braided. They also attend Matins with the reading of the Twelve Passion Gospels and the Entombment Vespers.
Each country celebrates Good Friday in its own way. In some countries like the UK, people from church carry large wooden cross around the streets before the church service starts. Again, in Spain and some other countries people who feel sorry for their wrongdoings carry wooden crosses around the street wearing robes with hoods. People in Bermuda fly handmade kites on this day as kites symbolise the cross that Jesus died on. In Belgium and Mexico churches are draped in black to in memory of Jesus’ sufferings. In Germany, dancing is banned on this day as in their country this day is referred to as ‘sorrowful Friday’. Also, in countries like the Philippines, Spain, Italy processions are carried out. In New Zealand, tv or radio stations are not allowed to play commercials on this day. Ireland bans alcohol sales on Good Friday. The Irish have a tradition of marking eggs with a holy cross and having each family member eat one egg on Easter Sunday as by doing so, they have a belief that they will have good health and luck the whole year.
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT GOOD FRIDAY
- It is believed that getting a haircut on this day prevents headache for the rest of the year.
- The very first Good Friday was observed on 3rd April, A.D. 33
- In many churches across the world, bells are tolled 33 times in succession to mark Christ’s years on Earth and to commemorate Jesus’ death.
- As per superstition in Ireland, it is believed that the eggs that are laid on Good Friday don’t get rotten.
- In the US there’s no official holiday on this day but many schools and banks do remain closed on this day.
- Good Friday always falls between March 20 and April 23.
- The Good Friday before Thursday is known as Maundy Thursday.
- It is also believed that hot cross buns baked on Good Friday can save their home from fire.
- An open-air play “The Passion of Jesus” can be watched for free in London on this day every year.
- Before sunrise, Jamaicans crack eggs and keep it in a glass of water. After the sunrise the pattern made in that glass of water due to the heat predicts the way of how they are dying as per their superstitions.
- In central America, “alfombras” or religious art of Jesus made out of stardust of colours.
- There was no news on 1930’s Good Friday and then they heard piano for the rest of that day.
- The Catholic Church officially categorized the Beaver as a type of fish, due to its aquatic habitat and behaviour, which makes it acceptable to eat on Good Friday and throughout Lent. This rule was later extended to the Capybara and muskrat as well.
GOOD FRIDAY MESSAGE
The message of Good Friday is that the evil can never win goodness which means non-violence, goodness, love are weapons of people with which they can conquer the evil of violence, badness and hatred.
Jesus Christ taught people to love each and every soul, even your enemies. He also taught not to judge other people and also do those kinds of things to others which you would like to receive from them. He taught to first rectify your own mistakes before pointing out the mistakes of others and blaming them. He was told to have faith and believe in God. He wanted people to be humble to one another.