To commemorate the crucifixion of Christ, Christian communities across the world perform certain traditions and rituals, both religious and folkloristic.

Long processions usually take place in memory of Christ’s journey towards his crucifixion and death at Calvary - a hill just beyond the walls of Jerusalem.

Other than these traditional processions, Good Friday is also observed in many unique ways all over the world.


Peruvians celebrate Good Friday by suspending normal activities for a week and covering the streets with beautiful carpets of flowers.

In the seaside district of Magdalena, statues of Christ and Our Lady of Sorrows are carried through the streets in a procession.

During the ritual, participants use needles or thorns to prick one another so that Jesus is not left to feel pain alone.

Others sew the participants’ costumes, giving life to exhilarating situations.

Meanwhile, a group of women burn incense.

Alongside the procession, an evocative re-enactment of Jesus’ baptism takes place in the Rímac River.


In Larantuka, on the Indonesian island of Flores, a Good Friday procession takes place at sea.

A wooden canoe transports a statue of Jesus from one church to another.

Thousands of devotees from across the world flock to this small seaport, which was colonised by the Portuguese and whose population is predominately Catholic.


As in many other South American countries, Holy Week is the most important religious event of the year.

Cities seem to transform and residents abandon their regular clothing to don black and purple outfits for the occasion.

In many Ecuadorian cities, locals tie a black ribbon to their doors or balconies, while in some villages, the mourning of Good Friday is carried over until midnight on Easter Saturday.


On the Greek island of Amorgos, Orthodox residents observe Holy Week by repainting their houses white, the traditional colour of the island.

Women make bread and decorate it with red eggs.

The monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa - embedded in the rock, 300 metres above sea level - was built to protect an icon of the Holy Virgin dating back to AD 812.

On Good Friday, prayers resound throughout the monastery while the faithful offer bread, olives and sweets.

On the same day, streets are adorned with flowers and aromatic herbs, so that when the procession of the Epitaphios - a coffin with the statue of Jesus - passes, the scent floats across the night air.

Great Britain

On Good Friday, the British eat hot cross buns, classic buns made with sultanas and cinnamon and featuring a white cross on top to represent the Passion of Christ.

In London pub The Widow’s Son, almost 200 of these buns are stored in a net hanging over the bar, with one being added to the collection each year.

Legend has it that the old widow's only son left to go to sea, possibly during the Napoleonic Wars, and wrote to her explaining that he would be returning home at Easter and to have a nice hot cross bun waiting for him.

Sadly, he never returned, but his mother continued to keep a fresh hot cross bun every Good Friday for the rest of her life.


On Good Friday in Romania, a tall table sits before the Cross in church, tall enough that you can pass under it.

On the table lies the Epitaphios, a piece of fabric which depicts the burial of Jesus Christ.

Devotees gather in church, bringing flowers for Jesus and their dead loved ones, passing under the table with the Epitaphios three times.

Entire villages take part in an evening ceremony, in which groups of locals follow the Cross in a solemn procession.

South Africa

Myriad South African Christians gather at Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg for a large mass on Good Friday.

Built in 1928, the stadium can hold up to 62,000 people and is home to one of the most popular soccer clubs in the country: the Orlando Pirates Football Club.