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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Germany Series at GermanPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind German holidays and observances. I’m Matt, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 9 - Good Friday.
In this lesson, we will discuss how people celebrate Good Friday, called Karfreitag, in Germany. Good Friday is observed between March 22 and April 25 and is a public holiday, known as Gesetzlicher Feiertag in German. It’s one of the most important Christian holidays. Jesus Christ's story of suffering is the focus during this Holy Week, and Good Friday commemorates his crucifixion, known as Kreuzigung Jesu in German. Therefore, the "Holy" in Holy Week also means grief or lament.
Now, before we get into more detail, I've got a question for you-
In some churches, the church bell ring every fifteen minutes. What about this rule changes on Good Friday?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later, so keep listening!
Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday or Palmsonntag, during which Jesus Christ’s triumphant entrance into Jerusalem is commemorated during church services. As a sign of joy, palm branches are swung, because they were revered as sacred trees in the old days. Holy Thursday, which in German is Gründonnerstag, is the day before Good Friday, and commemorates Jesus Christ’s Last Supper with the twelve apostles, known as Abendmahl Jesu in German. The crucifixion of Jesus Christ took place on Good Friday, and this is the culmination of Holy Week for Christians.
Good Friday is also known as "Silent Day" or "Great Friday." On this day, dancing and other leisure events are prohibited by law, which is why nightclubs are closed. Only activities that match the reverent character of the holiday are permitted.
Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday. According to the Catholic doctrine, fasting refers primarily to the renunciation of meat. Many people—regardless of their religion—give up luxury foods like candy, coffee, alcohol, and cigarettes, as well as material possessions such as televisions or cars.
The world's most famous Passion Play is the Oberammergau Passion Play, which was first performed in 1643. Depicting the life and death of Jesus Christ, the play lasts a few hours and takes place every ten years, in the final year of each decade.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
In some churches, the church bell ring every fifteen minutes. What about this rule changes on Good Friday? On Good Friday, the church bells do not ring, in somber remembrance of the fact that Jesus died on this day. Instead, musical ratchets, or noisemakers are swung by boys and girls throughout the city, predominantly in Catholic areas.
So listeners, how did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
How do you celebrate Good Friday in your country?
Leave a comment telling us at GermanPod101.com. Until next time!