Good Friday 2017: Seven less known facts about the holy day

Good Friday also known as Holy Friday, Great Friday, Black Friday or Easter Friday and is celebrated during Holy Week.

Good Friday
Spanish legionnaires carry a statue of the Christ of Mena outside a church during a ceremony before they take part in the Mena brotherhood procession during Holy Week in Malaga, southern Spain Reuters

"And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit...At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life."- Matthew 27:50-54.

Sound familiar? Yes, we are talking about the fateful day when Jesus Christ was crucified. However, as all Christians across the globe are celebrating Good Fridays today to commemorate His death, how many of us know all the legends and rituals of this Holy day?

For those who does not know about the day, Good Friday also known as Holy Friday, Great Friday, Black Friday or Easter Friday and is celebrated during Holy Week as part of the Paschal Triduum on Friday preceding Easter Sunday, which celebrates Christ's resurrection.

Good Friday is the most solemn day of the Christian year and it has its own sets of rituals. Read on to know more.

1. Why is Good Friday called "Good"?

Ever wondered why it is called "Good Friday" when the Son of God was mercilessly tortured and killed on that day. According to, people believe that it is termed "Good" Friday because of the benefit provided for people through the sacrifice of Christ.

However, while some scholars say in the Gallican Church in, what would now be France/Germany/Austria, the name Gute Freitag, would mean "good" or "holy" Friday, others say that the original name for the day was "God's Friday".

Good Friday
Orthodox Christian worshipers take part in a procession along the Via Dolorosa on Good Friday, during Holy Week in Jerusalem's Old City. Reuters

2. No decorations

Well, it may be familiar to church-goers, but it might come as a surprise to others that Churches, which are always illuminated with candles and bells, are not decorated on this day. Moreover, the altar is kept bare, no Eucharist will be present in the church, and the tabernacle's door remains open.

3. Colour code

As it is the day of mourning people are urged to wear black colour clothes.

Good Friday
Filipino penitents are seen nailed to the wooden crosses during a Good Friday crucifixion re-enactment. Reuters

4. What to eat?

Christians are expected to eat only one complete meal and two smaller ones during the day. No meat to be consumed on that day. In Mark's Gospel, it is said that the crucifixion began at 9 am and Christians are expected to maintain a quiet atmosphere, with limited television, radio, computer use and limited outdoor activities, reported

5. Good Friday in Philippines

Some countries have their own rituals. In the Philippines some devotees are nailed to crosses each year to re-enact the crucifixion of Christ.

Good Friday
Ruben Enaje, 57, who is portraying Jesus Christ for the 31st time, grimaces in pain as he was nailed on a wooden cross during a Good Friday crucifixion re-enactment in Cutud village, Pampanga province, north of Manila, Philippines Reuters

6. Non-believers

On the other hand, Evangelical Christian denominations argue against an observance of Good Friday, reported They believe that Good Friday is particularly a Catholic tradition and they observe the Crucifixion on Wednesday instead.

7. Variations

Good Friday is not a national holiday everywhere. In the United States, Good Friday is not a government holiday at the federal level; however, individual states, counties and municipalities may observe the holiday.