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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.

Is Orthodox Good Friday a Public Holiday?

Orthodox Good Friday is not a public holiday. Businesses have normal opening hours.

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

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday TypeArea
2010FriApr 2Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox 
2011FriApr 22Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox 
2012FriApr 13Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox 
2013FriMay 3Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox 
2014FriApr 18Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox 
2015FriApr 10Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox 
2016FriApr 29Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox 
2017FriApr 14Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox 
2018FriApr 6Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox 
2019FriApr 26Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox 
2020FriApr 17Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox 

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