Contend Earnestly: Why Is the Stock Market Closed on Good Friday?

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Why Is the Stock Market Closed on Good Friday?

Every year as Easter comes around, for the past 11 years, I get a day off when most are going to work: Good Friday. Good Friday is the Friday before Easter and is the day that Christians all over the world celebrate something quite odd: We celebrate that Jesus died on the cross. Seems odd, but the reason we celebrate is because of what happened on that next Sunday, namely, that Jesus was raised from the dead showing his victory over death and sin for us and for our salvation.

This explains quickly what the day of Good Friday is, but why is the stock market closed on this day?

There are many answers for this seemingly oddity. For one, Good Friday is not a Federal Holiday so many places will be open on this day, including public schools. One explained it this way:

Our coountry was founded and based on "Chrisitan" standards. If you dont like it, then leave (spelling mistakes were made from the genius who posted this remark)

I'm pretty sure that isn't the reason for the closure. Here are some other reasons I have heard for the closure:

- In 1907 Irish Catholic stock brokers got scared of the sell off the last time the market was open on Good Friday because so many people didn't do business on that Friday. They coined this day "the panic of 1907". (my quick reading on this panic had nothing to do with Good Friday, so this is someone just blowing smoke)

- Wiki Answers says that it has been closed on Good Friday since the NYSE's inception (so answer number one would be wrong based on this)

- It is merely a way to observe Easter to appease Christians

- Judas sold out Jesus for 30 pieces of silver on Good Friday so Christians refused to do any business on this day in remembrance of the crucifixion of Jesus

- It was an inter-confessional agreement between the Jews and Christians to celebrate Passover/Easter season

- The landlord had a disclaimer that if they were going to give the NYSE low rent that they had to close for Good Friday since it was an important Christian holiday and the landlord was a Christian.

These are the explanations I could find. Which is right? Not sure. With the high number of Jews and Christians in the New York area, I could actually see that the NYSE did some sort of interfaith day off for Passover/Good Friday. I am not sure why I get the day off, but I don't mind it.


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