In Norway we wish each other Happy Easter already before Palm Sunday, and when we return to work after Easter Monday we consider Easter to be over. That is not how it is in the Catholic Church.
Holy Thursday is the Church's celebration of the initiation of the eucharist. The tradition of foot-washing originated in Rome, where the pope would wash the feet of the people in his household the way Jesus washed the feet of his diciples before the last supper.
Good Friday ('good' here meaning 'holy') was the longest day of Jesus' life, the day he died on the cross. Already around the year 300 did Christians follow in Jesus' footsteps up to Calvary where they venerated the cross.
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