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How Good Friday was observed around the world

Posted: 7:55 AM, Apr 19, 2019
Updated: 2019-04-19 12:27:00-04
Observing Good Friday around the world

The week leading up to Easter is called Holy Week. It begins with Palm Sunday and ends on Holy Saturday, but each day in between comes with its own name and celebrations.

Good Friday falls on April 19 this year and is marked by many different traditions around the world.

Rome

In this city, the Friday before Easter is called "Venerdì Santo," meaning Holy Friday, the day Jesus Christ was crucified.

Many Italians choose to fast or eat a diet consisting of only fish on this day. To observe the Catholic Church's day of mourning, every statue and cross in churches is covered by a black or purple cloth.

Rome's largest Good Friday event, known as "Way of the Cross" or "Stations of the Cross," is a solemn torchlight procession led by the Pope. The crowd visits each of the 14 "stations of the cross," each symbolizing a part of Jesus' passion and death. The procession begins at the Colosseum and ends at Palatine Hill.

Jerusalem

Jerusalem is where Jesus' crucifixion took place, according to the Bible. Therefore, it makes sense that Good Friday is a highly spiritual and ritualistic holiday for the city.

Traditions include a pilgrimage in which individuals, many of whom carry crosses, retrace the steps Jesus took on his way to the cross. The route leads to Golgotha, also known as the Place of the Skull, where Jesus met his death.

Following the pilgrimage, there is an evening funeral procession in which participants will reenact the burial of Jesus.

Jamaica

This time of year might remind you of dyeing eggs bright colors. Jamaicans have a different use for eggs during their celebration of Good Friday.

This tradition involves cracking an egg and separating its yolk from its white. Before sunrise, they will pour the egg white into a glass of water. As the sun's heat warms the glass, patterns will form from the egg. In the past, Jamaican elders believed the pattern revealed how you would die.

London

London's Trafalgar Square puts on a free open-air play every year on Good Friday.

"The Passion of Jesus" is performed by a mixture of both amateur and professional Christian actors who take their audience on a journey from Jesus' arrest to his resurrection on Easter.

The cast comprises more than 100 performers as well as several animals.

As the show features a realistic portrayal of the crucifixion, parental guidance is suggested.

Central America

Countries such as Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala in Central America use art to celebrate Good Friday.

On this day, the streets are lined with Alfombras, Spanish for "rug." Created using colorful sawdust, their subjects often are either religious or nature-focused.

In order to take in their beauty, you must observe the Alfrombras before any Good Friday processions commence, as they will be washed away by the flood of the crowd's feet.

Two days before the joyous celebration of Easter Sunday, Good Friday provides an outlet for Christians to express their remembrance of Jesus' death.