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Good Friday in Ireland

Good Friday (Aoine an Chéasta) is an occasion for Christians, particularly Catholics, to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus. In the Republic of Ireland, it is a traditional day of rest and Christian worship, but not a public holiday.

Is Good Friday a Public Holiday?

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

The cross is often used to symbolize Jesus and his crucifixion on Good Friday.

©iStockphoto.com/wwing

What Do People Do?

Lent is a period that starts on Ash Wednesday and ends on Easter Sunday. Lent in Ireland is a period of self-denial for many people. They may choose to avoid meat, sweets, or television and save money by abstaining from alcohol and cigarettes. Some people give the money that they saved to charity.

Some Christians attend a special prayer services or spend much of the day in personal prayer or meditation on Good Friday. People may also prepare for Easter Sunday by cleaning their homes, having their hair cut or buying new clothes. Other people take advantage of the start of the long Easter weekend by taking a short vacation in Ireland or abroad.

Public Life

Good Friday is not a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland. However, it is a day of rest and Christian worship. Schools and many businesses and organizations are closed or close earlier than normal. Public transport services generally run to their usual timetables, but travelers should check these carefully.

Alcohol Is Now Served

In 1927, the sale of alcohol was prohibited in the Republic of Ireland on Good Friday. However, in January 2018, the Dáil passed legislation to allow it, so more pubs and restaurants are now open than what was common in the past.

Background

Many Christians observe Good Friday by remembering Jesus Christ's crucifixion, which occurred sometime around the year 32 CE (although various sources have debated on the date of Jesus' death). It is a day of prayer and mourning in preparation for the Easter Sunday celebrations.

Symbols

Crosses and images of Jesus at or after his crucifixion are common symbols of Good Friday. Crosses may be made of wood, metal or plant material and are displayed in homes, churches and public places.

About Good Friday in other countries

Read more about Good Friday.

Good Friday Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2015FriApr 3Good FridayObservance
2016FriMar 25Good FridayObservance
2017FriApr 14Good FridayObservance
2018FriMar 30Good FridayObservance
2019FriApr 19Good FridayObservance
2020FriApr 10Good FridayObservance
2021FriApr 2Good FridayObservance
2022FriApr 15Good FridayObservance
2023FriApr 7Good FridayObservance
2024FriMar 29Good FridayObservance
2025FriApr 18Good FridayObservance

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