Dates and Origins of Good Friday
Good Friday Dates in 2017, 2018 and 2019
Good Friday is celebrated at the following dates:
- Friday, April 14th 2017
- Friday, March 30th 2018
- Friday, April 19th 2019
Good Friday is a Christian holiday that celebrates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. It is a public holiday in some western, mostly Anglican and catholic countries.
According to biblical accounts, good Friday was the day that Judas betrayed Jesus to the Roman guards, leading them to where Jesus was staying the Garden of Gethsemane1. Here, he was arrested and interrogated at the house of Annas1. After little avail, he was sent bound to the Jewish high priest Caiaphas, who accused Jesus of Blasphemy and sentenced him to death2. During the time of the interrogation, Peter denied Jesus three times as Jesus had predicted3.
The next morning, a mob brought Jesus in front of Roman Governor Pontius Pilate under charges of denying Cesar his taxes, subverting the nation and naming himself king of the Jews4. Pilate authorized Jewish courts to try him according to their laws, but they claimed that Roman law prevented execution4. Hearing that Jesus was from Galilee, he referred the case to King Herod, who ruled galilee at the time, who was in Jerusalem for the Passover feast. Jesus was questioned further, and neither Pilate nor Herod could find any guilt4.
According to tradition, the crowd was allowed to release one criminal condemned to death. When asked who they would have released, they shouted for Barabbas, a condemned murderer, and called for the crucifixion of Jesus5. At this point, the crowd brought a new charge onto Jesus by the accusation that Jesus claimed to be the son of God. Forewarned by his wife's dream about the son of God, Pilate washed his hand to absolve himself of guilt and handed Jesus over to the crowd4. He did this to prevent a riot and to keep his job as the governer4.
Jesus carried his cross to the mountain Golgotha, where he suffered on the cross for six hours1. In the final three hours, between noon and twelve, the skies turned dark and Jesus cried to the heavens, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" When Jesus finally died, Joseph of Arimathea wrapped his body in spices and clean linen and placed him in a new tomb. It was now the sabbath, and everyone went home to rest5.
Church vestments are changed from the usual red for Lent to black, to signify the mourning of Jesus's death. A fast is strictly observed on Good Friday. Masses occur all day, especially during the final hours of Christ's life between noon and three. This is an extremely important holiday in the Christian faith1.