However, like Easter, its date changes from year to year, and you won’t want to miss the long weekend – so here’s when it falls in 2023.
When is Good Friday 2023?
Good Friday always falls two days before Easter Sunday, which means in 2023 it is on Friday 7 April.
Its ties to Easter mean Good Friday’s position in the calendar changes from year to year, with the holiday potentially marked at any time between 20 March and 23 April. This year’s observance is just over a week earlier than in 2022.
It coincides with the Jewish festival of Passover, which this year runs from Wednesday 5 April until Thursday 13 April.
What is the story of Good Friday?
Good Friday commemorates The Passion – the biblical story of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ at Calvary – before his resurrection is celebrated on Easter Sunday.
Although the precise date of Christ’s death is a source of much debate, biblical scholars tend to be in agreement that it came on a Friday on or near Passover, between 30-33AD.
According to the Bible, Jesus shared the Last Supper with his disciples on what is now marked as Maundy Thursday.
He was then betrayed by his follower Judas Iscariot, who revealed his location to Roman soldiers in return for 30 pieces of silver.
The New Testament’s four canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John all conclude with a detailed account from Jesus’s arrest to his eventual death.
The Bible says that it took Jesus six hours to die on the cross at Calvary, outside Jerusalem, ending his life with the famous words: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Is Good Friday a bank holiday?
Historically a common law holiday in the UK, Good Friday remains a bank holiday – which means schools will be closed and many businesses will shut or operate reduced opening hours.
As well as Friday 7 April, there is another bank holiday on Monday 10 April to mark Easter Monday, meaning many people will get a four-day weekend.
There will be another three UK bank holidays in May, too, with the traditional days off at the start and end of the month augmented by an additional long weekend to mark the coronation of King Charles III.
Why is Good Friday called Good Friday?
The death of Jesus is thought to have been commemorated by Christians as part of Easter’s Holy Week at least as far back as the fourth century.
On the face of it, the sobering subject matter of the observance jar with Good Friday’s distinctly upbeat name, which is first recorded around the late 13th century.
There is some dispute as to the origins of the label, with some suggesting that it is a corruption of “God’s Friday” and other experts stating that the adjective “good” is simply used to denote any holy day observed by the church.