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Good Friday is a religious holiday observed
primarily by Christians commemorating the crucifixion of
Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary. The holiday is
observed during Holy Week as part of the Paschal Triduum on
the Friday preceding Easter Sunday, and may coincide with
the Jewish observance of Passover. It is also known as Holy
Friday, Great Friday, Black Friday, or Easter Friday, though
the latter properly refers to the Friday in Easter week.
Good Friday is a widely-instituted legal holiday in many
national governments around the world, including in most
Western countries as well as in 12 U.S. states. Some
governments have laws prohibiting certain acts that are seen
as contrasting the solemn nature of the day.
In the United States, Good Friday is not a government
holiday at the federal level; however, individual states,
counties and municipalities may observe the holiday.
The financial market and stock market are closed on Good
Friday. Most retail stores remain open, while some of them
may close early. Public schools and universities are often
closed on Good Friday, either as a holiday of its own, or
part of spring break. The postal service operates, and banks
regulated by the federal government do not close for Good
Friday. In some governmental contexts Good Friday has been
referred to by a generic name, particularly "spring
holiday", presumably to avoid accusations of violating the
Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the U.S.