Good Friday is a Christian religious holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary. The holiday is observed during Holy Week as part of the Paschal Triduum on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday, and may coincide with the Jewish observance of Passover. It is also known as Holy Friday, Great Friday, Black Friday, or Easter Friday, though the last term properly refers to the Friday in Easter week.
Based on the details of the canonical gospels, the Crucifixion of Jesus was most likely to have been on a Friday (the day before the Jewish Sabbath) (John 19:42). The estimated year of the Crucifixion is AD 33, by two different groups, and originally as AD 34 by Isaac Newton via the differences between the Biblical and Julian calendars and the crescent of the moon. A third method, using a completely different astronomical approach based on a lunar Crucifixion darkness and eclipse model (consistent with Apostle Peter’s reference to a “moon of blood” in Acts 2:20), points to Friday, 3 April AD 33.
Good Friday is a widely-instituted legal holiday in many national governments around the world, including in most Western countries (especially among Catholic nations and majority-Catholic countries) as well as in 12 U.S. states. Some governments have laws prohibiting certain acts that are seen as profaning the solemn nature of the day.
Wikipedia contributors, “Good Friday,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (accessed April 2, 2015).
“Wüger Kreuzigung” by Gabriel Wüger – http://www.engen.de/toparchiv/ausstellung/beuron.htm. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.
“Christ Carrying the Cross 1580” by El Greco – Web Gallery of Art: Image Info about artwork. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.