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Orthodox Good Friday in Australia

Many Orthodox Christian churches in Australia often observe Good Friday at a later date than the Good Friday date observed by many western churches. Good Friday focuses on Jesus Christ’s death, which is described in the Christian bible. The day is also known as Great Friday, Holy Friday, and Holy and Great Friday.

Many people of the Orthodox Christian faith remember Jesus' death on the cross on Great Friday.
Many people of the Orthodox Christian faith remember Jesus' death on the cross on Great Friday.
©iStockphoto.com/paulgeor

What Do People Do?

Holy Friday is traditionally a mourning and fasting day among Orthodox Christians in Australia, particularly in the Greek Orthodox churches. The day commemorates Jesus’ death by crucifixion. Spring flowers are often collected for the epitaph (bier) at church. Evening or late afternoon liturgies are held, followed by the procession of the epitaph in some churches where the evening ends with a candlelit procession of the epitaph through the streets.

Public Life

The Orthodox Christian date for Good Friday is not a federal public holiday in Australia. However parking conditions may be affected near churches where Great Friday liturgies are held, particularly in busy urban areas.

Background

Many Orthodox churches retained the Julian calendar after the Gregorian calendar was introduced in Europe in 1582. Therefore they often follow a different Easter date compared with many western churches. Easter holidays, such as Good Friday, are “moveable feasts” as these dates change according to calendar calculations.

There are different types of Orthodox churches in Australia, including the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Greek Orthodox Church. There are many Greek Orthodox Christians in Australia. The federal government’s 2006 census recorded that there were 109,980 Greece-born people in Australia, with the largest numbers in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia, and Queensland. The census also showed that 100,460 Greece-born Australians are of the Eastern Orthodox faith.

Symbols

Many Orthodox Christian families prepare Easter eggs, which are beautifully decorated and often dyed red to symbolize the Jesus Christ’s blood.

About Orthodox Good Friday in other countries

Read more about Orthodox Good Friday.

Orthodox Good Friday Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday TypeWhere It is Observed
FriApr 22010Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox 
FriApr 222011Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox 
FriApr 132012Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox 
FriMay 32013Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox 
FriApr 182014Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox 
FriApr 102015Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox 
FriApr 292016Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox 
FriApr 142017Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox 
FriApr 62018Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox 
FriApr 262019Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox 
FriApr 172020Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox 

Quick Facts

Many Orthodox Christians in Australia remember the events leading up to Jesus Christ's crucifixion on Great Friday.

Orthodox Good Friday 2016

Friday, April 29, 2016

Orthodox Good Friday 2017

Friday, April 14, 2017

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Name in other languages

NameLanguage
Orthodox Good FridayEnglish
Orthodoxer KarfreitagGerman

List of dates for other years

Related holidays

Other holidays in April 2016 in Australia

United Nation Holiday on April 29, 2016

Fun Holiday on April 29, 2016

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