With Christmas being the only exception, regarding separation of church and state, Good Friday is not a national holiday, and only nine states fully honor today as a full holiday. However, many schools and some banks are closed and the New York Stock Exchange is black today.
Numerous “Christian” countries do consider this to be a public holiday, as for example:
- Those former British colonies (plus the UK) tend to close down on Good Friday, including Ireland, South Africa, Singapore, Canada (except for Quebec--that French influence), Hong Kong and India (although this could be changing).
- European countries mostly celebrate Easter Monday, but some have a four-day weekend with Good Friday.
- Not necessarily surprising, for the details of their religion are remarkably similar, but this is a national holiday in Muslim Indonesia.
This is a day of prayer and religious services, vigil, fasting (or at least of smaller meals) and the like. The reality is that, more and more, blue and commerce prevention laws are being overturned. This is the day when bakeries crank out a lot of hot cross buns, something that was started by an Anglican Monk in the 12th century, perhaps as a way to avoid a total fast.
Good Friday, of course, is always two days before Easter (celebrates the resurrection of Christ), which falls on the first Sunday after (or on) the full moon after (or on) the Vernal Equinox (first day of Spring). Thus, Good Friday will always occur between (or on) March 20 and April 23. Next year, Good Friday is April 22.
A tropical cyclone popped up in the middle of the Indian Ocean. No threat to islands at this time.