Good Friday: How People Marked the First Day of the Easter Holiday in Australia and Around the World

Fish was filleted and oysters were shucked as the Sydney Fish Market welcomed shoppers this Good Friday.

The centuries-old tradition of eating fish today is still proving popular and customers started pouring through the doors long before the sun came up.

More than 50,000 visitors are expected over the next few days and fish mongers are already run off their feet while some people swapped their morning cereal for fish and chips.

It’s the busiest day of the year at one of the world’s premier fish markets.

People are packed in like sardines and expected to buy more than 650 tonnes of seafood.

White fish like snapper and flathead were popular sellers.

In Victoria, a number of volunteers were rattling tins for the Good Friday Appeal to raise money for the Royal Children’s Hospital.

The total raised at 7:00pm was $7,061,910.

In the 87 years since the appeal started, it has raised $327 million that has gone towards research, equipment, training and patient-centred care programs at the hospital.

Children around Australia also spent Good Friday getting a sugar fix from Easter egg hunts.

A child picks up an Easter egg off the grass during an Easter egg hunt. Good Friday is one of the most important days in the Christian calendar, and church leaders have both urged followers to look to young people.

In an annual video address to Christians, the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney Dr Glenn Davies said young people were leading by example.

“Many will tell you the so-called I-Generation is rejecting faith — but I don’t see that at all,” he said.

The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Anthony Fisher, had a similar message.

“Our children remind us that the message of the gospel is new in every age,” he said.

Large groups were expected to gather in churches across the state.

A photo is taken from the back of a church showing the backs of the crowd of people who attended the service.

What’s happening elsewhere in the world?

Pubs in the Irish Republic opened on Good Friday for the first time in 90 years.

The law banning alcohol sales was overturned two months ago, with campaigners saying it was bad for business and tourism.

Across the pond in Britain, Prince Charles delivered an Easter message in support of persecuted Christians around the world.

“This Easter I want to salute the fortitude of all those who, whatever faith, are being persecuted for remaining faithful to the true essence of their beliefs,” he said.

It was the first time that he delivered an Easter message to the public.

In the Philippines, thousands of Filipino Roman Catholics and tourists descended on a farming village north of Manila to witness the crucifixion of several men in a re-enactment of Jesus Christ’s sufferings, a gory annual tradition church leaders frown upon.

Tourism officer Ching Pangilinan said at least eight men enlisted to be crucified briefly to wooden crosses by villagers dressed as Roman centurions before thousands of spectators.

The spectacle reflects a unique brand of Catholicism that merges Roman Catholic Church traditions with folk superstitions.

Many of the mostly impoverished penitents undergo the ritual to atone for sins, pray for the sick or a better life, or give thanks for what they believe were God-given miracles.

Filipino penitents line up with blood on their backs as they participate in Good Friday rituals.

In Guatemala, a Holy Thursday procession took place in the city of Antigua Guatemala to mark the start of a series of solemn ceremonies in the lead up to Easter.

Holy Thursday is also known as Maundy Thursday.

Hundreds of people gathered to watch the traditional Stations of the Cross procession, which travelled throughout the city after leaving the Church of San Francisco.

A statue of Jesus of Nazareth, carrying a golden cross on his back, was carried through the streets by some 1,500 “cucuruchos” — young men wearing a purple and white headdress — participating in the ceremony, taking turns in order to prolong the procession.