Unless rather than going to school you spent your childhood years working down the mines, you probably realise that Good Friday is an important religious holiday.
But, for many people, it is also associated with heading to the chippy for a fish and chip supper.
However, not many know exactly why that is.
Good Friday marks the day when Jesus was crucified after he was betrayed for 30 pieces of silver.
After Jesus’ arrest, interrogation and condemnation for blasphemy and treason, he was crowned with thorns, handed his cross and ordered to drag it up the hill to the “place of the skull” – AKA Golgotha or Calvary.
For six hours, Jesus hung from the cross in the Israeli desert heat alongside two criminals, before crying out at around 3pm and giving up the Holy Ghost.
The crucifixion of Jesus is acted out in the town centre every Good Friday, in front of hundreds of spectators.
So why is it called Good Friday?
Well, there are two reasons. The first is the fact “good” is another word for holy in this context. The second is, despite the horror, it is Jesus’ death (and subsequent rebirth) which is the cornerstone to the Christian faith.
Without getting into the technicalities (philosophers, theologians and believers of varying denominations have spent lifetimes explaining, debating, and debunking the technicalities), his death, his sacrifice after taking on all the sins of the world, meant we could all be forgiven.
Jesus’ death means we have a chance of everlasting salvation – and for the faithful that is a very good thing indeed.
To mark the bitter-sweet significance of Good Friday, not only is it a bank holiday in many countries across the world, but in the Catholic church in particular, it is a day of fasting.
What in particular should be fasted, however, is meat. This is why many people eat fish on Good Friday instead.
So why is fish allowed? Partly because the symbol of the fish is how early Christians recognised each other. Also many of Jesus’ disciples were fishermen.
And that’s why you must eat fish on Good Friday. So get down the fish and chip shop now that you’ve got an excuse! Mushy peas and curry sauce have no relevance to Good Friday whatsoever, though, in case you were wondering!