Good Friday is a Christian festival celebrated in all the Christian countries of the world. It is also observed by the Christian population of India. This is thought to the day on which Jesus Christ was crucified. It is a day of solemnity and sadness and is celebrated with rituals in the church according to Christian customs.

Good Friday 2017 was on April 14 Friday

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The history of Good Friday

Jesus Christ was arrested after he was betrayed by his disciple, Judas Iscariot and was tried for blasphemy. After a number of tries, the mob lead by the high priest condemned Jesus and he was sentenced to be crucified. He was made to carry his own cross to the site of his execution, called the place of the skull. Here, he was crucified and suffered on the cross for six long hours. An earthquake occurred at the time of his death. After his death, the body of Jesus was carried away by his followers in secret and buried according to the Jewish custom. Two days later, Jesus was resurrected. Good Friday is a day of sadness and mourning to commemorate the death of Jesus and his many sufferings.

When is Good Friday celebrated?

Good Friday is celebrated on a Friday two weeks before Easter. This date has been estimated from the details given in the canonical gospels. It is a public holiday in India.

Since this Friday marks the suffering and death of Jesus Christ, it is also known as Black Friday, Holy Friday or Great Friday. Though it marks a sad event, it is termed to be Good Friday. This is because the word good is taken to be synonymous with holy. Moreover, on this day, sacrifices by the son of God redeemed humanity. Hence it is termed good.

Rituals of Good Friday

Good Friday is celebrated by the Christian population in India. There is little regional variation. The main rituals are as follows:

  • In order to mark the mourning for Jesus, people wear black clothes and cover all pictures, crosses and other religious icons.
  • The Catholics attend the church and relive the fourteen stations. These are places around the church that marks the final journey of Jesus.
  • This is the only day of the year when mass is not said and candles are not lit. The unlit candles signify that God is not present.
  • Every Christian attends the Holy Communion. A bitter drink is prepared which has to be taken by everyone at the end of the service.
  • In some areas, special services are held for three hours from noon – the actual time when Jesus was believed to be crucified. The lights in the church are dimmed till they are fully extinguished. The finale is marked by a loud noise depicting the earthquake that struck at the hour of death of Jesus.
  • Parades are held in certain areas where people sing hymns and offer prayers. Open air plays are held in some areas to depict the last hours of the life of Jesus.

Good Friday festival dates between 2014 & 2024

YearDate
2014Friday, 18th of April
2015Friday, 3rd of April
2016Friday, 25th of March
2017Friday, 14th of April
2018Friday, 30th of March
2019Friday, 19th of April
2020Friday, 10th of April
2021Friday, 2nd of April
2022Friday, 15th of April
2023Friday, 7th of April
2024Friday, 29th of March
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