Good Friday in United Kingdom

When is Good Friday in United Kingdom?

Good Friday in United Kingdom is on April 7, 2023. It falls on Friday.

How many days until Good Friday in United Kingdom?

There are 131 Days left until Good Friday in the United Kingdom.

Is Good Friday a public holiday in United Kingdom?

Good Friday is a bank holiday in UK. It is observed Friday before the Easter Sunday, that is two days before the Easter Monday. It is a Christian holiday which commemorates the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ whom Christians believe is the son of God.

Origin of Good Friday

The word “Good Friday” has many different histories. Others say that “Good” was used as the Old English synonym for the word “Holy”. Others also believe that “Good Friday” is just another phrase for God’s Friday. Good Friday is one of the oldest Christian holidays and was celebrated even way back centuries ago. After Jesus’ death, Christians started mourning and observing this holiday. The recorded first observance was on 4th century A.D.

Numerous religious bodies within Christianity observe Good Friday with fasting and church services. Fasting refers to a practice where people willfully abstain from eating or eat very little for a certain period of time. Depending on a specific Christian denomination, it may differ what to abstain and when to do it during Good Friday. For instance, Catholics do it by avoiding meat and the meals should be taken in morning and evening but both meals shouldn’t be equivalent to a large meal. Some Christians still opt to do a traditional “Black Fast” which is a severe way of Christian fasting. Meanwhile, Ethiopian Orthodox Church tend to go for a partial fasting, wherein people refrain from meat and milk which typically last for weeks.

Good Friday Traditions in UK

Just like most countries that observe Good Friday, the people in the United Kingdom have their traditions and customs.

Attending Church Service

It has become customary to some Christians to attend special church service on Good Friday. Most churches are filled with people especially at around 3 o’clock, the same time of day when Jesus died. People gather to pray and offer service. Unlike other Christian holiday, it’s not common for churches to decorate for this holiday, though Stations of the Cross is sometimes apparent.

Stations of the Cross

Stations of the Cross is a series of pictures or carvings that portrays the life of Jesus Christ on the day he was crucified. For those who like to witness some traditional events, people may head and participate in the Crucifixion on Victoria Street. Usually, the event is characterized by a procession where a man leads the procession carrying a wooden cross that begins in Westminster Cathedral and Westminster Abbey at 12 noon.

Family and Frieds Get Together

In UK, since most services and organizations are closed, Good Friday is a time to get together with family and friends. The holiday gives a long weekend to people hence, it’s one of the perfect times to bond and do things with families. It is a popular tradition in the United Kingdom to eat fish instead of meat on Good Friday.

Why do Christians Avoid Meat on Good Friday?

The reason why meat is avoided on this day is because of the Christian belief that Jesus sacrificed his flesh on Good Friday and died for our sins. Such believe encourages and influences the Christian tradition that is practiced for centuries now to refrain from meaty flesh on the anniversary of the death of Jesus. Aside from avoiding meat, another popular tradition shared by people in the UK is preparing hot cross buns on Good Friday. A hot cross bun is usually sweet in taste and is marked with a cross (usually white in color) on top of the bun. For Christians, the cross on top represents the crucifixion of Jesus.

Watching Passion Play

On this holiday, it is common to see color black as it is seen to symbolize sorrow, death and despair. Some local communities and religious groups in UK organize and event like a passion play depicting the life of Jesus on the day of crucifixion. To some people in UK, watching passion play that depicts the life of Jesus on the day of his crucifixion has become a part of their celebration of Good Friday. One popular destination to witness a free outdoor play for “The Passion of Jesus” is in Trafalgar Square in London.

Dates of Observance for Good Friday
Year Date Day Holiday
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
Upcoming United Kingdom Holidays
Holiday Date
Christmas Day December 25, 2022
Boxing Day December 26, 2022
New Year's Day January 01, 2023