Why do we eat fish and not meat on Good Friday? Here’s the answer

GETTING fish and chips on Good Friday is possibly one of the most British traditions around.

Saturday, 20th April 2019, 2:06 pm
Updated Saturday, 20th April 2019, 2:12 pm
People eat fish and chips. Picture: Ben Birchall/PA Wire
People eat fish and chips. Picture: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Standing in line at your local chippy because you aren’t supposed to eat meat on this bank holiday. 

But where does this tradition come from? 

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Here's what you need to know: 

Why don’t we eat meat on Good Friday? 

Today is a sacred day in the Christian calendar, part of Easter weekend. 

According to their faith, Good Friday was the day when Jesus was crucified and died – before rising again on Easter Sunday. 

To help commemorate this sacrifice, Christians have refrained from eating flesh meat – such as poultry, beef and pork – on the day for hundreds of years. 

Why do we eat fish and chips? 

While you are not supposed to eat ‘flesh meat’ that doesn’t mean you have to go veg

Fish however is not considered ‘flesh meat’, so they were allowed to eat it on Good Friday. 

Because Britain is a Christian country and the practice of abstinence on Good Friday has long been held, eating fish on the bank holiday has become part of the zeitgeist. 

Millions of us still only eat fish on the bank holiday as a tradition even if its not for the religious reasons, so popping down to the local chippy became part of Good Friday. 

Was anything else banned on Good Friday? 

Bookmakers used to have to be closed on Good Friday, so you wouldn’t have been able to pop down and place a bet on the day's football matches. 

That was until 2008, when the 2005 Gambling Act came into force and allowed bookies to be open every day of the year except Christmas Day. 

Friday, March 21, 2008, was the first time your local bookmakers was able to open on Good Friday, which is 11 years ago.