03/19/2013 07:24 EDT | Updated 03/19/2013 07:48 EDT

Good Friday 2013 A Statutory Holiday Across Canada

Good Friday is a statutory holiday across Canada, the second stat of 2013 since New Year's Day (though several provinces enjoy a Family Day-type holiday in February). The Good Friday stat is recognized in all provinces and territories, though in Quebec, either Good Friday or Easter Monday must be given as a paid statutory holiday.

This year, Good Friday 2013 falls on March 29 under the Western Christian calendar, which is based on the Gregorian calendar. Also known as Great Friday and Holy Friday, Good Friday is observed on a different day by the Eastern church, which uses the Julian calendar. For Eastern rites, Good Friday 2013 falls on May 3.

Good Friday is one of the holiest days of the year for Christians and commemorates the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ at Calvary, also known as Golgotha, which occurred in AD 33 by most estimates.

According to biblical accounts, the arrest, torture and crucifixion of Jesus followed a week that began with his warm welcome to Jerusalem (on Palm Sunday), followed by the Last Supper with his disciples (Holy Thursday) and his betrayal with a kiss by Judas in the Garden of Gethsemane. Good Friday precedes Easter Sunday, when Jesus was resurrected from the dead, according to the New Testament. Easter marks the end of Lent, a 40-day period of fasting, prayer and penance.

Generally, most institutions will be closed on the Good Friday holiday, including banks, government offices, grocery stores, schools and stock markets. In some parts of Canada, such as Toronto, businesses within designated tourist areas are permitted to stay open.

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