Christians all over the world — and U.S. stock markets — observe Good Friday on the Friday before Easter Sunday.
Good Friday is part of Holy Week or Passion Week, a timeline of religious events leading up to the Resurrection on what is now known as Easter.
Several theories point to the origin of the name Good Friday.
“That terrible Friday has been called Good Friday because it led to the Resurrection of Jesus and his victory over death and sin and the celebration of Easter, the very pinnacle of Christian celebrations,” the Huffington Post reported.
Linguists suggested to Slate that an old meaning of good, or holy, led to the name Good Friday. In other cultures, Good Friday is also referred to as “Long Friday,” “the Holy and Great Friday,” or “God’s Friday.”
Good Friday, which this year falls on April 7 is not a federal holiday. The next observed federal holiday is Memorial Day on Monday, May 29.
The New York Stock Exchange and other financial markets will be closed on Good Friday. By tradition, they shut completely on nine holidays and have one early closing every year: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Juneteenth, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving (with an early close at 1 pm EST on the following day, also known as Black Friday) and Christmas Day.
Twelve states recognize Good Friday as a state holiday: Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Texas, and Tennessee. In states where Good Friday is a state holiday, state offices and courts are closed. Other businesses may close, as well.
How does OPM’s holiday time work?
There are 11 federal holidays recognized by the Office of Personnel Management. On these days, all non-essential government employees are off work, and most government offices are closed.
For religious observances outside of that list, OPM says an employee must be allowed to work alternate hours to accommodate taking that time off.
“An employees request for time off should not be granted without simultaneously scheduling the hours during which the employee will work to make up the time,” its guidance says.
Religious compensatory time off may be earned within 13 pay periods before or after the period in which it is intended to be used.
Molly Weisner is a staff reporter for Federal Times where she covers labor, policy and contracting pertaining to the government workforce. She made previous stops at USA Today and McClatchy as a digital producer, and worked at The New York Times as a copy editor. Molly majored in journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.