The Catholic holiday Good Friday is observed on March 29, 2024. The day is also known as Holy Friday, and Great Friday. It commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus, which most probably took place on a Friday. The holiday is celebrated during the Holy Week on Friday before Easter Sunday. It is sometimes called Easter Friday, too. Good Friday often coincides with the Jewish observance of Passover. As Good Friday is a fast day, Catholics should only have one full meal and two light meals that day, in which meat should be substituted with fish. Good Friday is a legal holiday in most Western countries.
In the United States Good Friday is not a federal holiday. However, individual states and municipalities may observe the holiday. Schools generally do not close, but the day may fall during spring break. The majority of businesses are open that day, but the stock market is closed. The postal service operates, and banks regulated by the federal government do not close for Good Friday. In countries like the US, where the day usually is not a federal holiday, the afternoon liturgical service is often put off until a few hours after 3 p.m.
Many Christian churches celebrate Good Friday with a special service. Jesus Christ’s death and the results of his death for the people are the main topic. Regarding to Christianity, Jesus died for the people, who remain sinners. This is supposed to be a gift from God to the Christians: God let his own son die to show his love. On Good Friday prayers of thanksgiving and solemn hymns remember the suffering of Jesus and his death at Calvary. The crucifixion was the most painful method of punishment, where Jesus’ hands and feet were bound and nailed to the cross, which he himself had to carry to Calvary.