The Christian holiday Good Friday is a public holiday in the mainly Buddhist nation of Sri Lanka. On Good Friday, Christians commemorate the suffering, passion and death by crucifixion of Jesus Christ. But it was not before the fourth century AD that Christians began observing this important day.
Because some banks open on national holidays, Roman Catholic bank employees complained about work on this holy day and turned to Oswald Gomis, the archbishop of Colombo, the highest Roman Catholic cleric in Sri Lanka, asking him to intervene in their favour.
Sri Lanka has a three centuries long tradition of presenting Jesus Christ's passion on stage, particularly in the area of Negombo, the Passion Play in Duwa at the Church of Our Lady of Good Voyage being the most famous one. It's one of the oldest Christian pageants on the island, though living actors replacing statues were not introduced before 1948.
In the year 2000, for the first time costumes from Oberammergau in Germany, the world’s oldest Passion Play, were given to actors in Sri Lanka as a special honour.
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