Good Friday in Germany in 2021

Good Friday in Germany in 2021

  How long until Good Friday?
This holiday next takes place in 186 days.
  Dates of Good Friday in Germany
2022 Germany Fri, Apr 15 Public Holiday
2021 Germany Fri, Apr 2 Public Holiday
2020 Germany Fri, Apr 10 Public Holiday
2019 Germany Fri, Apr 19 Public Holiday
2018 Germany Fri, Mar 30 Public Holiday
Good Friday occurs on the Friday before Easter. The day commemorates the Crucifixion of Jesus.
  Local name
  Good Friday in other countries
Good Friday internationally

When is Good Friday?

Many countries observe Good Friday as a national holiday on the Friday before Easter. The day commemorates the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ.

Some countries observe the Orthodox calendar in which Good Friday may occur on a different date.

What is Good Friday?

The most important events in Christianity are the death and later resurrection of Jesus Christ, who Christians believe is the Son of God, and whose life and teachings are the foundation of Christianity.

After the last supper, Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, put on trial, sentenced to death. He was then tied and nailed by the wrists and feet to a large wooden cross and left to die. This is why the cross is used as a symbol of the Christian faith.

Good Friday is a day of mourning. During special Good Friday services Christians meditate on Jesus's suffering and death on the cross, and what this means for their faith.

Why is it called 'Good Friday'?

At first glance, it seems a strange name for a day that marked such a terrible event as a crucifixion, but when we look at the origin of the name it becomes clearer... or it would if there was one origin that people could agree on. As it stands, you can take your pick from the following:

  • Some say it comes from the use of "Good" as an adjective applied to the day, which is an Old English synonym for "holy."
  • Others believe it stems from a corruption of the word "God," in much the same way that "Good Bye" comes from the phrase "God be with ye." So the name may be derived from 'God's Friday'.
  • Undoubtedly most Christians perceive the day as "good" because the message of Easter is of Christ's victory over sin, death, and the devil. Indeed, the New Testament is also known as the Gospel, which is Greek for 'Good News'.

Also, it also worth noting that this confusion over the name is mainly confined to Western European and North American Christians. Eastern Orthodox Christians call it "Great and Holy Friday. Around the rest of the world, it's known as Holy Friday in most Latin nations, 'Great Friday' by the Slavic peoples, "Friday of Mourning" in Germany and "Long Friday" in Norway.

Good Friday Traditions

Many Church services are held in the afternoon, usually between noon to 3pm, to remember the hours when Jesus was crucified on the cross.

Some churches observe the day by re-enacting the process of the cross in the rituals of stations of the cross, which depicts the final hours of Jesus' life. Other churches may participate in Veneration of the Cross, a short ceremony in which Christians kneel before the cross and affirm their faith.

In Jerusalem, Christians follow in Jesus' footsteps and walk Via Dolorosa, the traditional path that led to the site of the crucifixion. Many who participate try to ritually bear the same weight Jesus did by carrying crosses on their backs.

Though it's not a public holiday in the Vatican or Italy, the Pope will say a mass at the Vatican before leads an annual public prayer of the Stations of the Cross at the Colosseum in Rome. A procession is then made to the Palatine Hill, accompanied by a huge cross covered in burning torches. 

The 'quiet holiday' in Germany

Under the constitutional law on the Protection of Sundays and Public Holidays, Good Friday is treated as a stille Tage ('quiet holiday') in Germany.

The restrictions do vary from state to state, but the intention is to restrict any activities which 'contradict the character' of the day. This means it is illegal to dance in public for the full day in 12 out of the 16 states in Germany, with the other four enforcing a partial ban during the day. "All non-public entertaining events outside of homes" may be banned in some states.

In the southern states of Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria, the bans start on Maundy Thursday and run until Easter Saturday. In Bavaria, any kind of music, even in bars is forbidden.

Another restriction is placed on what movies can be shown in cinemas. The FSK, the German motion picture rating system, oversees a list of films that it considers unsuitable for holiday viewing. Some movies such as Robocop, Mad Max, and Life of Brian are no surprise, but some seemingly innocent films such as Mary Poppins and Heidi in the Mountains make the list as they are seen to not reflect the serious nature of the day.

Did you know?

Three facts about Good Friday

In the United States, 12 of the 50 states recognize Good Friday as a holiday

Radio and TV stations in New Zealand are banned to play any commercial content on Good Friday or else they will be fined.

During the Great Fire of New Orleans in the year 1788, priests had refused to allow church bells to be rung as fire alarms because it was Good Friday. And due to their decision, around 856 buildings got burned.

More facts about Good Friday

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