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Good Friday in Italy

In Italy, Good Friday is a religious observance that occurs in the lead-up to Easter Sunday and Easter Monday. It commemorates Jesus Christ’s crucifixion and death, as written in the Christian bible.

Is Good Friday a Public Holiday?

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

Good Friday is a solemn observance two days before Easter Sunday.

©iStockphoto.com/kelly cline

What Do People Do?

Good Friday is also known as Holy Friday (Venerdì Santo) in Italy. Some Italians eat only fish as part of a fasting ritual on Fridays. Statues in Italian churches are cloaked in black or purple covers. Large processions, where people carry religious symbols such as crosses, take placeall over in cities and towns all over the country.

The most famous procession is the Way of the Cross — Via Dolorosa in Rome, Italy. Tens of thousands of pilgrims from all over the world gather in the ancient city to watch the Pope lead a torchlit procession on Good Friday.

Public Life

Good Friday is not a national public holiday in Italy, but roads may be congested later in the day as people start to prepare for the long Easter weekend.

Background

Some historians believe that the Good Friday procession in Chieti has origins that can be traced back to around 842 CE. In fact, Good Friday is known to be one of the oldest Christian holidays observed worldwide. It was a day of fasting during the early years, which was associated with the crucifixion later in history.

Symbols

Some churches in Italy observe Good Friday by a feet-washing ritual in which a priest washes the feet of 12 church members, symbolizing Jesus washing his disciples’ feet.

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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