Swedish Long Friday, English Good Friday

Today is Long Friday in Sweden, Good Friday in English-speaking countries. If you hold to the Christian belief, it’s the day Jesus was crucified on Golgata, outside of Jerusalem.

Why the differences in names for this day? In English-speaking countries, there are differences of opinions as to why it’s called Good Friday. Some people claim Good is an old English word meaning Holy – so Holy Friday. Others say it’s a development of the word God. And other theories say it is good because it is the day Jesus, dying on his cross, was victorious over sin, death and the devil and took upon him all the sins of Mankind. Heavy stuff.

In Sweden, it is called Long Friday as it was said to be a day of mourning for the long day of suffering that Jesus endured will being crucified.

In Sweden, as in the UK, today is a public holiday, people don’t need to dress in black anymore and all the shops and places of entertainment are open. Some people go to church, some paint eggs and decorate Easter trees, some prepare food for Easter Saturday.

I think it’s interesting to know the origins of our traditions. Often these origins are long forgotten. But understanding the history helps put things into perspective as we celebrate in the way we prefer, traditions that have been followed for centuries before and centuries to come.

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