United Kingdom - Good Friday

Good Friday

This year: Friday, March 29, 2019

Good Friday is the Friday before Easter Sunday, and it is when Christians remember the day when Jesus was crucified. Its name possibly is derived from 'God's Friday', in the same way that good-bye is derived from 'God be with ye'. The Anglo-Saxon name for Good Friday was Long Friday, due to the long fast imposed upon this day. The date of Good Friday changes every year (in 2009 Good Friday falls on April 10). However, it's better to check it up before making any plans or arrangements for this day.

Since the early nineteenth century, before the institution of bank holidays, Good Friday and Christmas Day were the only days of relaxation, offered almost everywhere to employees. Nowadays, Good Friday is a public holiday in most of the UK, and many businesses are closed on this day.

For many Christians, Good Friday is a holly day of fasting and praying, and they can attend special services held in churches. It can be an evening communion service, or a time of praying during the day, especially in the afternoon around 3 o'clock, as it is considered the approximate time when Jesus died. Some Christians take part in the procession of witnesses, carrying a cross through the streets and then into the church.

On Good Friday, it is traditional to eat 'hot cross buns' for breakfast. It is a very popular specialty - a sweet spiced bun made with raisins, and the pastry cross on the buns is to remind Christians that Jesus was killed on the cross. Also, on Good Friday people traditionally eat fish instead of meat.

There are some interesting beliefs related to Good Friday. For example, the baby born on Good Friday or Easter Sunday is believed to be granted with invulnerability; bread and food prepared on this day will not grow stale; the bun baked on Good Friday and soaked in milk is a good treat of indigestion; and hardened Good Friday's bun will guard your house against fire.

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