Friday, April 3, 2015

Chennai Holidays: Good Friday

Today is Good Friday, which also happens to be a holiday in Tamil Nadu. The following is an excerpt from Live Chennai on how Good Friday is celebrated by Christians:
The Good Friday celebration starts by kissing a plank of wood depicted on the cross of Christ. After this ritual people perform other practice which starts from 3 o’clock where narratives read out four gospels from the holy book and latter on general communion service is performed at midnight after which a burial takes place. On Good Friday particularly, the bells of the church remains silent (which rather on other days doesn’t) because this day is marked as a SAD DAY for Christians.
People follow the example of Jesus Christ and keep fast on this day as according to one story – Christ fasted in desert to overcome the Evil One for forty days before the beginning of His teachings. However, this period of forty days is popularly known as ‘Ash Wednesday’. This ends on ‘Lent’ also known as ‘Good Friday’ following the other day i.e. Easter Sunday.
Many people even today perform a three-hour service on Friday in remembrance of the death of Christ in which one service includes seven distinct elements stating seven utterances of Christ when he was hanged on cross. This incident is famously depicted in the small town near Goa (in India) called Panjim which celebrates Good Friday in large spirit. Many people gather there to take part in the celebrations which is held in full bloom in the churches.
That's one of the interesting things about India. As with most (historical) polytheistic dominant cultures, they are very tolerant of religions. This seems odd to say considering the tensions and history between India and Pakistan. Still, there are Muslim and Christian communities in Chennai that appear to live discrimination free.

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