Different Things to Do on Good Friday
India is a secular and diverse country, and each religion and factions of society have the liberty to celebrate their corresponding festivals. Christianity, one of India’s major religions, has its share of gazetted holidays. Good Friday is one of those festivals.
On this day, the faithful admit their guilt and seek ways to improve themselves. Good Friday is often termed as Holy Friday, Great Friday, and most popularly as Black Friday. Christians of different traditions like Catholic, Orthodox, Methodist, Anglican, Reformed, etc. observe this holiday by fasting and attending church services.
About Good Friday
Good Friday is a prominent day in the Christian faith to remember the final hours of Lord Jesus’ life, crucifixion, and death at Calvary in 30 AD. We observe Good Friday on Friday in the month of Pascha, two days before the major festival, Easter. Good Friday is often termed as ‘The Road to Easter Sunday’.
Easter or Pascha is the day for celebration as it is believed that on the third day after his burial, Jesus was resurrected. Lent, which is a 40 days period of prayer, penance, and fasting precedes Easter Sunday. In Eastern Christianity, the Easter season ends on Easter Sunday, and a feast is organized referred to as ‘Feast of Ascension’. Easter is symbolized with colourful Easter Eggs and Easter Bunny. We can witness Easter parades mostly in places where Christian Population is in a significant number.
However, the date varies every year on both Georgian and Julian calendar which Christians calculate with the Lunisolar calendar’s help. The first Sunday that comes after the ecclesiastical full moon after 21st March is Easter, and the Friday of the same week is Good Friday. It generally comes in late March or early April and sometimes coincides with the Jewish festival Passover.
How Do We Celebrate Good Friday in India?
Good Friday is a Public Holiday in India. The festival is celebrated on a large scale mostly In Northeast India, where even local services are hindered. Most people perform a service in the church and fast for the day. This service includes reading the passage from the Gospel about the Seven Last Words of Jesus. Christians abstain from the consumption of meat on Good Friday. It is considered a day full of sadness, and the drink prepared has a bitter taste due to the leaves, vinegar, and several other ingredients.
After the afternoon service, everyone tastes the drink as a testimonial to the sacrifice of Jesus. The day after Good Friday is the day of silence, which is to not disturb Jesus as he lays peacefully in his grave.
What to Do During Good Friday in India?
In India, schools and most businesses give a holiday on Good Friday. In areas with a large Christian population, the local activities are disrupted due to large gatherings and mass prayers. Furthermore, in areas with Christian populations like Goa and Northeast India, public transport may not work at its full potential. You may have to get the timetable from local authorities for the holiday.
In some areas, people may organize parades to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus. Many businesses organize Black Friday sales, which attract heavy crowds, and these sales can be worth visiting for you. You can also join the church service and learn about the culture and history of Christianity and experience. Some churches also organize plays to portray the last moments of the life of Jesus.
Here are some ways in which you can pay a tribute to the sacrifices made by Jesus Christ:
- Rise before dawn to begin your day with sacrifice.
- Observe a day of fasting.
- Wear black clothes preferably to mourn for the crucifixion of Christ.
- Maintain complete silence from noon to 3 pm, the time during which crucifixion took place.
- Avoid shopping and any other entertainment errands which can divert your mind.
- Keep away from media – social, print or TV.
- Switch off your mobile and sing prayers as much as possible.
- Good Friday is an ideal day to forgive someone in your life.
- Write a thank-you note for Jesus for all the good things he did for you.
- Memorize a bible verse.