Special Report

Good Friday Traditions From Around the World

Kite flying in Bermuda

Though Good Friday is often associated with penance and fasting to mark the crucifixion of Christ, some traditions include a shot of optimism in anticipation of Easter and the resurrection just days away. That’s the case with Bermuda’s practice of flying kites on Good Friday. According to local lore, a teacher used a kite to illustrate the concept of the ascension of Jesus to his young students. After a few hours of kite-flying on a breezy Bermuda beach, participants work up an appetite for the customary fishcakes — no meat on Good Friday! — sold at sea-side stands.

Good Friday re-enactments in Philippines

Good Friday is a national holiday in the Philippines. It is observed as a day of penance, and a day of reckoning for fulfilling vows made during prayers for special intentions. In areas such as the Pampanga region, the devout may flagellate themselves, don crowns of thorns, and even have themselves nailed to a cross to recognize Jesus’ suffering and to atone for their sins. The Catholic Church discourages such practices, urging more moderate observances.

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