Tomorrow, March 30, is Good Friday. It is on this day that the Christian community commemorates Jesus Christ's crucifixion. As per the Bible, the God's son was flogged, asked to carry the cross on which he would be crucified and killed. So if the Lord had met such a tragedy, why is it called 'good'?
While some say that the day is defined "good" because it is holy, others say it is a corrupt form of "God's Friday". The Oxford English Dictionary says that the "good" refers to a day or occasion of religious observance.
There is also a Good Wednesday, which albeit is less known than Good Friday, is the Wednesday that comes before Easter.
The earliest use of the day as "Guode Friday" is seen in The South English Legendary - a text whose date goes back to 1290, as per the Oxford dictionary. The standard US Catholic school text between 1885 till the 1960s - Baltimore Catechism - Good Friday is seen as good because Jesus Christ had shown his love for mankind.
Christians observe Good Friday as a day of mourning. Processions are organised by churches across the world while awareness about the day is raised among the commoners. The priests at the churches wear back and decorations are removed from statues.
In the Latin church, a fast day includes only one full meal and two small repasts. The Methodist Church remembers Good Friday also with fasting and the Protestant communities organise special services on the day.
Meat is avoided on Good Friday although fish is consumed for it is perceived to be a different kind of flesh that comes from water and that fish is also closely associated with the Christian community. Food preparation for Good Friday begins nearly a week in advance.
Good Friday and Easter Sunday are also celebrated in India, especially in the Christian dominated regions in Mumbai, Goa and Northeast. The followers throng the churches for special prayers and rituals; buy Easter eggs to present to their children. People also exchange gifts with each other on this occasion. Preparing tasty dishes and exchanging colourful lanterns are among the popular traditions of Easter celebration in India.