Good Friday is a Christian holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus and his death at Calvary. It 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, and Black Friday.
Members of many Christian denominations, including the Anglican, Catholic, Protestant, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran, Methodist, Oriental Orthodox, and Reformed traditions, observe Good Friday with fasting and church services.
The date of Good Friday varies from one year to the next on both the Gregorian and Julian calendars. Eastern and Western Christianity disagree over the computation of the date of Easter and therefore of Good Friday. Good Friday is a widely instituted legal holiday around the world, including in most Western countries and 12 U.S. states. Some countries, such as Germany, have laws prohibiting certain acts, such as dancing and horse racing, that are seen as profaning the solemn nature of the day.
A common folk etymology claims "Good Friday" is a corruption of "God Friday", as was the case with the contraction goodbye. The term in fact comes from the sense "pious, holy" of the word good. The Oxford English Dictionary also gives other examples with the sense "of a day or season observed as holy by the church" as an archaic sense of good (good, adj. 8c) as in good tidemeaning "Christmas" or "Shrove Tuesday", and Good Wednesday meaning the Wednesday in Holy Week.
The Baltimore Catechism states that this day is called "Good Friday" because Jesus "showed his great love for man, and purchased for him every blessing".
In Dutch Good Friday is known as Goede Vrijdag, in Frisian as Goedfreed. In German-speaking countries, Good Friday is generally referred to as Karfreitag (Kar from Old High German kara‚ "bewail", "grieve"‚ "mourn", Freitag for "Friday"): Mourning Friday. The Kar prefix is a cognate of the English word "care" in the sense of cares and woes; it meant mourning. The day is also known as Stiller Freitag ("Silent Friday") and Hoher Freitag("High Friday, Holy Friday").
In the Nordic countries it is called "The Long Friday". In Greek, Polish and Hungarian, Good Friday is generally referred to as Great Friday (Μεγάλη Παρασκευή, Wielki Piątek, Nagypéntek). In Bulgarian, Good Friday is called either Велики петък – Great Friday, or, more commonly, Разпети петък (approximate pronunciation 'razpeti petak') which literally translates to "Crucified Friday".
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