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Today is Good Friday and this Sunday, April 4 will be Easter, the holiest two days in the Christian calendar. If you don’t celebrate Good Friday, you might think the occasion is joyous, but that isn’t quite the case. Below, find out what Good Friday is and why people celebrate it.
Where is Good Friday considered an official holiday?
Good Friday is not a federal holiday. However, in the United States, 12 states recognize Good Friday as a holiday. Indiana, Texas, Delaware, Kentucky, Florida, Louisiana, Connecticut, New Jersey, Hawaii, North Carolina, North Dakota, and Tennessee officially observe Good Friday.
Why is Good Friday celebrated?
Since the early days of Christianity, Good Friday has been observed as a day of penance and fasting. According to Christian belief, Good Friday marks the day that Jesus—who is considered the son of God or God in human form—was crucified. Jesus carried his cross to his crucifixion while wearing a crown of thorns on his head and died a human death.
Why is it called “Good” Friday?
Many people wonder why this Friday is called “good.” It’s unclear who coined it as good, but some entomologists believe the term “good” is an archaic word for “holy.” Good Friday is also known as Great Friday or Holy Friday.
Christians believe that Good Friday is a day of remembrance and gratitude for Jesus. Christians believe that, without Jesus’ sacrifice, an afterlife for “natural-born” sinners would not exist. Therefore, they believe it’s “good” that Christians have been blessed with eternal life because of Jesus’ selflessness.
Why is Good Friday before Easter?
The rest of Easter weekend is more celebratory than Good Friday. Holy Saturday is another day of remembrance and waiting for the resurrection of Jesus, and Easter Sunday is the celebration of Jesus rising from the dead. Good Friday through Easter Sunday is one of the holiest weekends in the Christian faith because it’s a time to remember Jesus’ sacrifice and celebrate eternal life, which are many Christians’ core beliefs.
How does it tie into Lent?
Lent ties into Easter because it ends on Holy Saturday, the day before Easter. Lent is a shortened version of the Old English word “lencten,” which means spring. Both Catholics and Protestants celebrate Lent. Although Lent is more popular among Catholic believers, Lent is becoming more popular with evangelicals.
During Lent, people practice fasting and give up one or some of their favorite foods and beverages. On Lenten Fridays, many Catholics will abstain from eating meat. Some people may also give up some activity they enjoy that can distract them from reflection, such as television, video games, or social media.
Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent, which is always 46 days before Easter Sunday. Lent is 40 days and is not celebrated on Sundays. Sundays are considered feasting days because feasting is an appropriate way to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection. At the end of Lent, people stop fasting and celebrate Easter Sunday, which is considered a joyous celebration that includes a feast\.