Easter is classed as a “moveable feast” and can occur any time between March 20th and April 23rd.  As a result, Good Friday similarly shifts dates. The lunar calendar is the deciding factor for this.  The first full moon to occur after the spring equinox dictates when Easter will fall. Good Friday is celebrated the following Friday, with Easter Sunday just after it.
Image of cross in field of flowers
Image of hot cross buns
Hot Cross Buns are traditionally eaten over Easter and, whether you like them or not, they are said to be good luck. Superstition says that buns baked on Good Friday will never spoil, protect against shipwrecks and will protect your home from fire.  (Not sure I’d trust this one!!!)
Another superstition about Hot Cross Buns maintains that if you share a hot cross bun with someone, while you recite a special rhyme, you will remain friends for a year.  “Half for you and half for me, between us two shall goodwill be”.  Rather nice I think.

How about this for a superstition.  Getting a haircut on Good Friday prevents headaches for the rest of the year.  Unlikely, but worth a try!

Reenactment of The Passion of Christ
Every year in London’s Trafalgar Square, an open air production of “The Passion of Jesus” is performed.  This event is free to all and is also streamed live via Facebook.
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In Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, the streets become filled with “alfrombras”, better known as religious street art.  These drawings are made from coloured sawdust.  Artists spend hours transforming the streets into beautiful “carpets” of colour in preparation for the Good Friday parades.
A couple dancing under a bridge
In Germany, Good Friday is taken very seriously.  Nightclubs are forced to close, at risk of heavy fines, and dancing is prohibited!  It is referred to as Sorrowful Friday.
In Jamaica, the custom is to crack an egg and add the egg white only to a glass of water.  Leave it so that the rising sun heats the egg.  Patterns will form in the water as the white solidifies.  Tradition says that this will predict the manner in which you will die!!  Not too cheerful.
The Irish also have a belief that eggs laid on Good Friday will not rot – not sure I want to test this theory!!  They also have a tradition of marking eggs with a holy cross.  Each family member eats a marked egg on Easter Sunday.  This is supposed to bring good health and luck for the next year.
In the United States, Good Friday is not an official holiday.  Schools and banks may be closed in some states, but Good Friday is not actually observed across the country.  Only 12 states acknowledge Good Friday.

Depending on your beliefs, Lent (a 40-day religious sacrifice period) finishes on Good Friday.  Followed by church services and feasting.

In New Zealand, TV and radio ads are banned between the hours of 6am and 12.00pm on Good Friday.  This is to honour the religious day.  They also do this on Christmas, Easter Day and Anzac Day.  On a particularly slow news day on Good Friday, back in 1930, BBC radio announced that “There is no news!”.  These days it is unheard of that there is no news.  Back then, things were different.  At 20.45 on 18th April, 1930 the newsreader declared that as there was no news, piano music would be played.  And it was, for the remainder of the day!

In Ireland, alcohol sales were banned on Good Friday, a tradition that had held true for a century.  However, in 2018 Irish pubs were allowed to open on Good Friday for the first time.  This was not only appreciated by the people but tourism benefitted greatly too.

Image of coloured easter eggs with a gold cross
The exact origin of the name “Good Friday” is unknown.  There are numerous theories, but none are backed by evidence.  Some believe that “Good” means “Holy”.  Others believe that “Good” is a replacement for “God”.  Each country and language has their own unique interpretation for it.  In fact, it has multiple names.  We may know the Friday before Easter as Good Friday, but other countries refer to this day as Easter Friday, Holy Friday, Great Friday, Silent Friday, among others.

Churches across the world ring in the special day with 33 bells tolls in remembrance of Christ’s years on Earth and to also commemorate his death.

Authors Andreas Köstenberger and Justin Taylor did their history homework and found that the very first Good Friday was Friday, April 3, A.D. 33.

There is not usually a mass or Eucharist on Good Friday.  Instead, the absence of mass honors the Passion and passing of Christ.  The Thursday before Easter is also celebrated and is known as Holy Thursday or Maundy Thursday.  Maundy derives from the Latin word “mandatum” meaning commandment.  It is said to symbolize the commandment given by Jesus at the Last Supper.  Also, the following Saturday after Good Friday and before Easter Sunday is celebrated.  It is known as Holy Saturday.  In fact, the entire week before Easter is known as Holy Week and commences on Palm Sunday.

Whatever your faith, wherever you are, we hope you have a great weekend.  Here at Orlando Rent A Villa, we are fully booked.  Which is fantastic!  We are now taking bookings for the quieter weeks after Easter.  Browse our inventory of rental villas and make your next vacation magical in every way.