Good Friday is just around the corner, and people are already planning to celebrate it uniquely. This year, the special day would be on April 19, 2019. Like every special occasion, this day is celebrated in a different manner across different parts of the globe. Here you can know how Good Friday is celebrated around the globe and perhaps attend a unique celebration as well.
What is Good Friday?
Good Friday is a part of Holy Week for Christians. It is believed that Jesus Christ was crucified on Good Friday and resurrected on Easter Sunday. Some Christians observe fasts, some hold a ceremony and some fly kites. Have a look at all the methods of celebrations across different parts of the world right here.
Rome and Vatican City
In Rome and Vatican City, which is the home of the Catholic Church, a ceremony of the Way of the Cross is organized. It commemorates 14 key events which symbolize His final walk while carrying the cross through the streets of Jerusalem. The procession is held at Colosseum, a cross is carried through every mark, and the Pope himself goes through various stations.
In this city, a Via Dolorosa walk is organized. People believe that it is the actual walk that Christ took while carrying a Cross. It culminates at the place where crucifixion took place, a multi-denominational church known as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre which is decorated to mark the occasion.
In the Philippines, Good Friday is considered to be a holy day and many people head out on pilgrimages on this day. Many performances that narrate the Way of the Cross are organized. Several plays are also conducted that represent the Passion of Christ. Ringing church bells is avoided, and masses are not celebrated as a general rule.
Bermuda celebrates Good Friday in a unique manner. Kites are considered as a symbol of the cross and kite flying sessions are organized. It is believed that kite flying will emulate Christ’s ascension to heaven. The sight of hundreds of colorful and amazing kites flying is worth watching.
Though not sanctioned by the Catholic Church, the residents of Iztapalapa celebrate Good Friday by organizing a Passion Play in which about 4,000 local actors portray the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. The person who is chosen to play the part of Jesus Christ usually has a moral character and good physical strength, both of which may prove to be useful as the person has to wear a crown of thorns, bear flogging, carry a 200-pound cross and has to be tied to re-enact the crucifixion process.
An event called The Passion of Jesus is organized in Trafalgar Square every year on Good Friday in which Jesus’s death is interpreted. Over 100 participants make the event a memorable one, and around 20,000 people attend it. The event is available on big screes too. It ensures that everyone can watch it if they wish.
Good Friday is celebrated in q unique manner here. People dress as white habits attend “Los Picaos” procession which is organized at in the Rioja Village of San Vicente de la Sonsierra. They also use esparto grass ropes and whip their backs for 20 minutes. This is a method of penance which was used in the 18th century.
In the Southwestern town, Bensheim, an annual Good Friday procession has been held since 1982. In a theatrical performance, Judas’ famous kiss of betrayal is portrayed. Jesus’s appearance before the Sanhedrin, his death sentence and the actual process of carrying the cross as well as the death is portrayed as well. The local Italian families deliver performance.
El Salvador celebrates Good Friday most fascinatingly. During the Easter week, people who are members of the Catholic churches haul buckets full of dyed sawdust to the street. Then, on Good Friday, they create the sawdust into colorful scenes known as alfombras which depict the life, death as well as the resurrection of Jesus. It is followed by a procession that impersonates Jesus’ funeral.
The Holy Week is celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm in Malta, and the celebrations reach a new high on Good Friday. Processions are organized in different parts of the country and stories regarding Good Friday, and Easter are shared again and again to make the entire event more meaningful.
The people of Peru consider Good Friday to be a Somber holiday. They organize only small processions through the streets. In Lima, people gather around a painting created by a slave in 1600s which represents the crucifixion and is known as the Lord of Miracles. Interestingly, this painting has survived multiple earthquakes since the time it was painted.
Is your country on the list? How is Good Friday celebrated in your country? Feel free to share by commenting below!