For Christians around the world, today is a day of mourning. The original Black Friday has nothing to do with being trampled at a Walmart, but people do often make “sacrifices” to commemorate the day. In other words, the Easter Bunny is going to make you work for your candy.
Why, I even remember not being allowed to watch television, and the Italian classic Cinema Paradiso even mentioned the theatre being closed on Good Friday. I’d post a video, but since this actually is Good Friday, I don’t think that would be kosher.
Anyway, those of you celebrating (can we even call it celebrating?) in Europe should be careful, as many things are legally banned today.
Laughing & Dancing
In Germany — no, I’m not going to make a mean-spirited crack about Germans not being funny especially since one of their most famous comedians was nice enough to host an interview with us — there’s mean and then there’s just plain ungrateful. It’s basically the anti-Footloose starring Hasselhoff. Sure, I’ve actually never seen Footloose, but I assume it’s about a town that hates singing and dancing so much that they kick out Kevin Bacon because he’s a ginger.
Anyway, in Germany, “comedic theater performances and public dancing are illegal on Good Friday.” Apparently, this isn’t always well enforced and you can still watch comedy on TV or at the movies, but “many TV channels will only show religious material on the day.”
Despite popular belief, alcohol is not normally banned during Lent… for Catholics, at least. Prohibition was more of a Protestant thing, but one country known for being Catholic, that isn’t Italy or arguably France, ain’t too keen on getting tipsy on the day.
Erin, The Emerald Isle, actually bans alcohol from being sold on Good Friday. I wonder if that’s because Ireland is still hungover from St. Patty’s Day parties…what, it’s perfectly healthy to know your fast days from your feast days! Lent eventually ends in Easter, after all!
Right, so “in 1962, the Intoxicating Liquor Act introduced ‘area exemption orders’ to allow the sale of alcohol for special events, but all pubs and many restaurants remain closed.”
Didn’t see that one coming.
Do you like to gamble? Do you like horses? Well, if you’re British then today isn’t a day where you can combine your two loves… which usually go hand in hand as is. That’s because horse racing is banned on Good Friday in the UK and, until 2008, gambling was banned altogether.
However, “a law was passed that allowed betting shops to remain open” in the aforementioned year, so I guess that’s something.
“If you’re an Eastern Orthodox Christian, you are not supposed to eat at all on Good Friday or the Saturday following.” Catholics also fast during this time, but not as severely. And no, that whole “abstaining from meat” tradition is a separate thing entirely. It’s also something Catholics are meant to do on all Fridays of the year, not just before Easter.
The more you know! And you know what G.I. Joe says…