Good Friday in Australia
When is Good Friday in Australia?
Good Friday in Australia is on April 7, 2023. It falls on Friday.
How many days until Good Friday in Australia?
There are 6 Days left until Good Friday in Australia.
Is Good Friday a public holiday in Australia?
Good Friday is a national holiday in Australia celebrated on the Friday before Easter Sunday. The holiday is celebrated to commemorate the crucifixion and the death of Jesus Christ, the central figure of the Christian religion. Since Easter’s date falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the northern spring equinox (which usually occurs on or after March 21), its date of observance varies every year, which in turn, makes the date of the Good Friday movable as well. In Australia, Good Friday is designated to become a public holiday.
With this, majority of the employees are given a day off, however, while most of the companies close, few other businesses get permission to remain open on this day (e.g. shops, supermarkets, convenience stores, and some recreational businesses). These businesses would likely follow restricted schedules though. Government offices and schools on the other hand, should be closed as well (though Australian schools and universities should already be in their school holiday break). In addition, public transport services are also limited since some transport companies in the country choose not to operate on this day.
Good Friday Origin
Good Friday is one of the most well-known celebrations observed among the Christian countries worldwide. It commemorates the death of Jesus Christ, whom the Christians believe as the son of God and the saviour of mankind (according to the bible). In the ancient times, Jesus was punished for claiming that he was the son of God and the King of the Jews. He was sentenced to death by Pontius Pilate (the fifth governor of the Roman province of Judaea), and on Friday of that weekend, he was beaten, crucified, and was left to die at the Mount Calvary. Good Friday was a celebration established to remember the sufferings and the death of Jesus Christ on that day. Though history records are unclear as to when the first celebration of this holiday was held, some theories state that its first observance could be traced back as early as the second century. Nowadays, since Christianity is the primary religion adapted by many countries around the globe, billions of people observe this holiday. During Good Friday, Christians make use of the day to reflect, pray, and fast (refrain from eating). Many would go on fasting since they believe that by doing so, they could repent all the sins they’ve committed in their lives.
In Australia, Christianity was introduced to the people in the late 18th century. The religion was brought by the first British settlers who arrived at Sydney, Australia back in 1788. Not long after that, the religion has become widely spread across the country until such time that majority of the Australians were converted to become Christians. Along with their conversion is the observance of many Christian holidays associated with the religion. Good Friday is among those holidays. Currently, Good Friday has become one of the most popular religious holidays observed in the country.
Good Friday Traditions in Australia
Church Services and Stations of the Cross
Many Christian countries around the world celebrate Good Friday. Australia, being a Christian country as well, is not an exception. During Good Friday, churches across the country traditionally hold special church services to commemorate Christ’s death. It is customary for the Australians (especially the Christians) to attend mass as part of the celebration for this holiday. Many of them spend hours in the church meditating, reflecting, and praying to God. Though there are various church services that are held across the country to observe the day (most of these church services take place at 12:00pm to 3:00pm), the country’s Good Friday Mass starts at exactly 3:00pm, which is said to be the time of Christ’s death in the Calvary.
Stations of the Cross
Some churches would also organize a re-enactment of the final hours of Jesus’ life through the rituals of the Stations of the Cross. The ‘Stations of the Cross’ are the fourteen depictions representing the events of Jesus’ last day on Earth as a man. It begins with his condemnation by Pontius Pilate and ends with his crucifixion and burial.
In accordance to the celebration of Good Friday, many Australians (especially those following the teachings of the Catholic churches) often spend the day fasting. This practice is seen as one way of repenting the sins one has committed in his/her life. Many Aussies (slang word for Australians) would only eat small amount of food on this day, often refraining from eating any dishes with meat on it. The meat is typically substituted with fish instead. In addition, it is also traditional for the Aussies to have a fill on a hot cross bun during Good Friday. A "hot cross bun" is a spiced sweet bun which is usually made with fruit (others add nuts or chocolate flavor on it) and is marked with a cross at the top. While others eat it just the way they are served, other Aussies prefer to add some variations to increase its flavor. Adding butter, jam, custard, or cream are done by many to better enjoy the buns. The country’s bread shops and bakeries selling these buns would have a boost on their sales on Good Friday since many Australians end up ordering this during the holiday. The hot cross buns are popular in the country due to its religious notions; thus, it is the perfect food to be eaten on Good Friday, which is also a religious holiday. These hot cross buns are typically paired with coffee, tea, or juice.
Good Friday is a day meant for the Christians to mourn Jesus death and reflect on all the sufferings he had gone through for the sake of atoning the sins committed by the people. For the Australians (especially the Christians), any form of entertainment is avoided for one to show respect for Jesus sufferings and death. The holiday is taken as a spiritual and religious activity rather than a party holiday. And considering that majority of the country’s population are Christians, many people took this celebration seriously. In some cases, restrictions are even made in terms of selling alcoholic beverages during the holiday.
For the non-Christian Aussies, although they still respect the observance of Good Friday, their celebration of the holiday is different from those of the Christians. Rather than partaking on any religious activity, those who are members of other religion or even some Christians who are not particularly religious, choose to celebrate the day in a secular way. They take advantage of the holiday to take a trip/vacation considering the long weekend brought by the Easter season. Many of them usually travel either internationally or just within the country. Hence, airports are expected to get extremely busy during the Easter weekend. However, although many opt to travel, there are several others who choose to stay at home on Good Friday. Others see this holiday as one which can strengthen family bonds; thus, they end up staying at home while enjoying the company of their loved ones.
For some others, attending sporting events on this day is another way to spend the holiday. Some of the country’s sporting events are held beginning on Good Friday, which include the Three Peaks Race in Tasmania that began in 1989. The Three Peaks Race in Tasmania is a non-stop offshore short-handed sailing and endurance mountain running event which attracts many competitors and spectators across the country. It’s a race which takes few days to be completed. In addition, the Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race which began since 1949 is another sporting activity which also begins on Good Friday. It starts from the Shorncliffe in Moreton Bay, Queensland and ends at Gladstone Harbour, Queensland.
|2023||April 07||Friday||Good Friday|
|2024||March 29||Friday||Good Friday|
|2025||April 18||Friday||Good Friday|
|2026||April 03||Friday||Good Friday|
|2027||March 26||Friday||Good Friday|
|2028||April 14||Friday||Good Friday|
|Good Friday||April 07, 2023|
|Easter Saturday||April 08, 2023|
|Easter Sunday||April 09, 2023|