What Is Good Friday? How The Christian Holiday Is Celebrated Around The World In Photos

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Just before Easter Sunday, there is another traditional holiday celebrated by the Christian Church. Holy Friday, otherwise known as Good Friday, is a day of commemoration for the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The annual holiday comes one day after Holy Thursday 2016, which is the final day of lent. 

It may be surprising to some that an entire religion spends a day commemorating the death of their lord with the name Good Friday. In some other countries, however, this isn't the case: Germany refers to the day as Karfreitag, which translates to "Sorrowful Friday," for example. 

Read more: Good Friday 2013: 5 Facts You Didn't Know About the Christian Holy Day

Essentially, Christians are celebrating Jesus Christ's devotion to his followers and his willingness to die for their sins on Good Friday. The day is typically spent fasting and in penance, meaning traditional Christians use the day to confess their sins to a local priest, or in prayer.

"In the same way, Good Friday is 'good' because as terrible as that day was, it had to happen for us to receive the joy of Easter," as the religious site Christianity.com puts it. "The wrath of God against sin had to be poured out on Jesus, the perfect sacrificial substitute, in order for forgiveness and salvation to be poured out to the nations. Without that awful day of suffering, sorrow, and shed blood at the cross, God could not be both 'just and the justifier' of those who trust in Jesus." 

However, not every Christian community celebrates Good Friday the same way. Tens of thousands of tourists flock to the Philippines during the annual holiday to watch locals nail themselves onto crosses, even though the Church condemns the act. 

The following scene shows Peruvians taking part in a similar tradition, displaying the historical significance behind the holiday known as Good Friday:

Check out photos from around the world to see how other societies are celebrating Good Friday:

South Sudan

Mexico

Rome

Indonesia

Paris

New York

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Chris Riotta

Chris Riotta is a culture reporter at Mic, covering news, music and entertainment. He is based in New York and can be reached at criotta@mic.com

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