Home > Calendar > Holidays > Australia > Good Friday

Good Friday in Australia

Quick Facts

Good Friday is two days before Easter Sunday and is a national holiday in Australia.

Local names

NameLanguage
Good FridayEnglish
KarfreitagGerman

Good Friday 2014

Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Friday 2015

Friday, April 3, 2015
List of dates for other years

Good Friday is a religious and national holiday in Australia, and is held on the Friday before Easter Sunday. On this day, Christians commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

Humble Wooden Cross with Bright Sunburst

Jesus died on the cross on Good Friday.

©iStockphoto.com/tiburonstudios

What do people do?

In Australia, Good Friday is the start of a four-day weekend and falls during the Easter school holidays. Many people take a short vacation around this time, often within Australia. Others take the opportunity to spend time with their family or friends.

Members of different churches mark the day in various ways. Some churches, especially Catholic churches, see Good Friday as a fast day and people only eat three small meals and, often, no meat at all. Some people substitute meat with fish. Many churches hold special services and some may hold long prayer vigils.

Traditionally, people eat hot cross buns on Good Friday. These are small, bread-like buns flavored with spices and raisins or currants. Some modern recipes add cocoa to the the dough and replace the dried fruit with chocolate chips. All hot cross buns are marked on the top with a cross. The cross is sometimes cut into the top of the bun and sometimes made with a different, paler dough. Some people eat hot cross buns just as they are and others split them in half, toast them, spread them with butter, jam or cream  and eat them warm.

A lot of sporting events are held on or start on Good Friday. The Three Peaks Race in Tasmania starts in the afternoon of Good Friday. This event is three-tiered , consisting of a section to be sailed and a section to be walked or run. During the sailing sections, all members of a given team sail a set course down Tasmania's west coast. During each of the running or walking sections, two members of each team leave their boat and run or walk up and then down one of three mountains. Other well-known sporting events that start on Good Friday are the Brisbane to Gladstone yacht race, the Stawell Easter Gift, a long distance running race and the Easter Racing Carnival in Sydney.

Public life

On Good Friday schools, post offices and many other organizations are closed. Stores and other retail outlets are closed. Some small or specialty stores may be open, according to local policy. There were traditionally tight restrictions on alcohol sale on Good Friday. Stores may not sell any alcoholic drinks and pubs may have restricted opening hours. However, there have been moves to relax the laws in some states.

Public transport services are often restricted or may not run at all. As many people take a short vacation at this time of year, there may be substantial congestion on major roads and airports may be very busy.

Background

Good Friday commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and is a day of mourning for Christians. It is a very important day in church calendars, as the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus are central events in Christian beliefs. The Easter date depends on the ecclesiastical approximation of the March equinox.

For many people who are members of other faiths or are not particularly observant, Good Friday is not a day of religious observance, but the start of a four-day weekend at the end of the summer. For some, it is a good opportunity to take a short vacation or spend time with family or friends. Others use the time to carry out maintenance on their homes or cars or to attend sporting events.

About Good Friday in other countries

Read more about Good Friday.

Good Friday Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday typeWhere it is observed
FriApr 131990Good FridayNational holiday, Christian 
FriMar 291991Good FridayNational holiday, Christian 
FriApr 171992Good FridayNational holiday, Christian 
FriApr 91993Good FridayNational holiday, Christian 
FriApr 11994Good FridayNational holiday, Christian 
FriApr 141995Good FridayNational holiday, Christian 
FriApr 51996Good FridayNational holiday, Christian 
FriMar 281997Good FridayNational holiday, Christian 
FriApr 101998Good FridayNational holiday, Christian 
FriApr 21999Good FridayNational holiday, Christian 
FriApr 212000Good FridayNational holiday, Christian 
FriApr 132001Good FridayNational holiday, Christian 
FriMar 292002Good FridayNational holiday, Christian 
FriApr 182003Good FridayNational holiday, Christian 
FriApr 92004Good FridayNational holiday, Christian 
FriMar 252005Good FridayNational holiday, Christian 
FriApr 142006Good FridayNational holiday, Christian 
FriApr 62007Good FridayNational holiday, Christian 
FriMar 212008Good FridayNational holiday, Christian 
FriApr 102009Good FridayNational holiday, Christian 
FriApr 22010Good FridayNational holiday, Christian 
FriApr 222011Good FridayNational holiday, Christian 
FriApr 62012Good FridayNational holiday, Christian 
FriMar 292013Good FridayNational holiday, Christian 
FriApr 182014Good FridayNational holiday, Christian 
FriApr 32015Good FridayNational holiday, Christian 
FriMar 252016Good FridayNational holiday, Christian 
FriApr 142017Good FridayNational holiday, Christian 
FriMar 302018Good FridayNational holiday, Christian 
FriApr 192019Good FridayNational holiday, Christian 
FriApr 102020Good FridayNational holiday, Christian 

Related holidays

Other holidays in April 2014 in Australia

Advertising

Other calendars

Related links