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Passion Plays

Good Friday
Members of the Italian community take part in a re-enactment of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ on Good Friday in Bensheim, southwest of Frankfurt, Germany, April 14, 2017. |

A very popular way to observe Good Friday is the Passion Play, a performance usually outdoors that reenacts the final hours of Jesus’ life, from His arrest to His crucifixion.

Passion plays are said to have been first created in Europe during the Middle Ages. These dramatic performances are widely held throughout modern Christendom.

Some of the most popular include the play performed at Trafalgar Square in London and the elaborate procession held in Bensheim, Germany.

The village of Oberammergau in the Bavarian Alps is said to have the longest tradition, having performed the production regularly since 1634.

“It remains an entirely local production, with villagers taking all the parts and singing in the chorus. Since 1930 roofed seats have protected the audience from the weather. The production runs from May through September,” according to Britannica.

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