Good Friday in United Kingdom
Easter is one of the oldest Christian traditions and it symbolises the dawn of a new life and the high point of the Christian calendar. It is basically the celebration of the last week of Jesus’ life, his death, and his resurrection, which are some of the most important marks of the Christian religion.
What is Easter?
That was a long long time ago. Today, Easter weekend is the first public holiday period of the year. It is also a bank holiday in the UK, which means you get to enjoy the spring-like weather of late April. Plus there are so many outdoor events, generally a part of Easter celebrations, where you can all the fun of life. Easter is one of the busiest time at the airport, as so many people are travelling domestically. These vacationers are not only travelling to visit their families but also to hit key hotspot destinations. Since it is a national holiday, you might have a problem with booking your accommodation and even the flight prices will rise. Therefore, get in touch with Dream World Travel Ltd to secure your travel, accommodation, and transportation at the best rates.
Things to Know About the Easter Weekend
What is it “Good” Friday?
In the Christian religion, Good Friday is the day Jesus was crucified in Jerusalem. Since it is the day of mourning there are no flowers or decorations on Good Friday in most Anglican churches. However, there are special services to commemorate the crucifixion and suffering of Jesus, also known as the Passion of Christ. Since that the tragedy of the crucifixion of Jesus brought great “good” to his followers, it is called “Good Friday”.
Easter Is on Different Dates Every Year
One of the most fun things about Easter is what a moveable feast it is. This means the Good Friday falls on a different date every year, which is two days before Easter Sunday. Good Friday is celebrated on the first Sunday after the first Full Moon or after the March equinox. However, it is never celebrated before March 22.
Since the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church both follow the Gregorian calendar, they celebrate Easter on the same dates. Moreover, a majority of Orthodox churches still follow the Julian calendar, therefore celebrating Orthodox Good Friday a little later in the spring.
Good Friday: A bank holiday!
Good Friday comes after Maundy Thursday, after which comes the Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday. However, these are not bank holidays. Then comes the Easter Monday, which is a bank holiday in England, Northern Ireland, and Wales, but not in Scotland. Though Easter Monday is a well popular and well-defined Christian holiday, it has many of its roots in the traditions and rituals of the pagan. These people are those who inhabited the United Kingdom, long before its widespread conversion to the Christian faith. The Easter, as believed by many scholars, was named after the Anglo-Saxon goddess of the spring “Eostre”.
One of the most important things Easter brings is a two-week school break, at least for students. This is usually a school holiday in the UK, for around two weeks long. Though most schools break up on Good Friday or the day before, it varies locally.
Though most shops and supermarkets, restaurants, pubs, theatres, and cinemas are open on Good Friday, most businesses and organizations are closed because it is a public holiday. That still varies locally, as some stay open.
Bars, Pubs and Alcohol Consumption on Good Friday in the UK
In the past, bars and pubs would shut down alcohol sales during Easter all over the UK. It is still restricted, but now only the case in Northern Ireland. Here, alcohol can only be served between 5 pm and 11 pm on Good Friday. However, on the days before and after, Maundy Thursday and Holy Saturday, the bars in Northern Ireland only have to stop serving at midnight. After 90 years, alcohol restrictions law were lifted in 2018 in the neighbouring Republic of Ireland.
Crucifixion on Victoria Street in London
Londoners celebrate Good Friday by holding out a religious service called the Crucifixion on Victoria Street. Members from several different Christian denominations hold a wooden cross is carried at the front, and it is open to anyone.
Easter (Public and Traffic)
If you are travelling from around any part of the world to the UK, or travelling intercity on Good Friday, be prepared for some massive unusual congestion on the roads. This is because hundreds of thousands of people take trips during the four-day Easter weekend, starting from Good Friday. Though the buses and other public transport systems may run, as usual, you might want to reconsider them. The British Rail, however, schedules railway maintenance during the Easter week, affecting the schedules.
Sweet Chocolate Eggs
When we think of Easter, the first thing that pops up in our minds is chocolate eggs. There are very few, approx. 12% who think of Jesus and religion. Since there a tradition of egg hunting on Easter Sunday, chocolate consumption increases before it.
No Meat/ Fish and Chips for Tea
There is a very nice custom made common the Catholics not eating meat on Fridays an excuse to enjoy an ultra-British dish, the famous fish and chips, for tea (which is dinner) on Good Friday. Though the not eating meat on Fridays is followed by Catholics and most Christians in Britain belong to the Anglican Church of England, this nice custom is still followed on this day.
Hot Cross Buns
Since we are talking about food, let’s get further into what Britain eats on Good Friday. Though most people eat fish or meat for the main course, the other most common thing on the Good Friday menu is hot cross buns. Traditionally, families make hot cross bun made from sweet yeast dough, with currants or other dried fruit and maybe even cinnamon. The top is then decorated with a cross, for it is a religious day. This was originally made of either dough or just a knife imprint previously. However, it is now usually made of yellow, white and chocolate frosting according to people’s choices. Some people even split the buns in half and then toast them for a butter spread.
The Custom of giving Illegal Buns to the Poor
There is an old custom of giving illegal buns to the poor in 1592 when Queen Elizabeth I decreed that hot cross buns could only be sold on occasions like Good Friday Christmas, or for burials. If anybody would be caught selling it any other day of the year, they would have to give all the baked goods to the poor. Where hot cross buns come from? Nobody has an idea. Some say they are made in a Christian context, while others say they come from pagan, Roman, or Saxon backgrounds.
Winter Skiing and Spring Gardening
Since Good Friday is a moveable feast, the weather can be dramatically different from one Good Friday to the next. Since the weather is good in spring, Britons use the day to work in their gardens, while others take advantage of the Easter weekend to travel to Spain or France to enjoy warmer temperatures.