This year: Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Good Friday In Canada
Friday before Easter Sunday
Good Friday is an important holiday that is observed in Canada. It became recognized as a nation wide statutory holiday by the Employment Standards Act in 2000. While the history of Good Friday is a holiday that has derived from religious beliefs, people in Canada now celebrate the day for a variety of different reasons. The holiday takes place on the Friday directly before Easter weekend, usually the first Friday of April. The actual date changes from year to year. It takes place after the first full moon of the spring equinox.
In the biblical sense, Good Friday became a holiday to observe and recognize what some call a celebration of resurrection. It signifies the death of the Lord and the belief that there is a resurrection after death. Because of the heavy religious beliefs surrounding Good Friday in our country, many families choose to spend this holiday in church, partaking in worship. The belief that Christ died on Good Friday is a Christian belief and therefore observed mostly in a Christian church. Usually the church events on Good Friday include a sermon, music, prayer, story telling about the resurrection of Christ and observing the holiday as a group.
Canadians who do not observe Good Friday in a religious capacity have created their own traditions on the holiday in most cases. Being that Good Friday is attached to what is already a long weekend (Easter weekend), this is a great chance for families to spend some quality time together. This is also a very popular weekend for people to par-take in a weekend getaway of some sort. Popular Canadian getaways for this weekend include Niagara's wine region, Montreal, the East Coast and Vancouver.
Being that most stores, businesses and services are not operating on Good Friday, this is a great chance for everyone to get outside and see some festivals or shows. Good Friday is a very popular day for live concerts, craft shows and other outdoor events. It is an excellent opportunity for friends and families to be together, enjoy some great family meals and hopefully some fresh air after a long and cold Canadian Winter!
No matter what your religious beliefs may be, Good Friday has been recognized as a very important Canadian holiday. Whether you choose to spend this holiday in a church, with family or friends or just enjoying time off at home you likely fall into the majority of Canadians who will enjoy it as a paid statutory holiday in this country.
It is unclear as to where the term "Good Friday" actually came from. Some believe it is a misuse of the original term "God's Friday" in relation to God loving all people and his redemption of the world while others would argue that the portion of the holiday "Good" is making reference to God having won salvation for the world. There has been no set truth on the reasoning behind the name of this holiday however but it is commonly known as Good Friday amongst both English and Dutch communities.