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Holy Saturday in the United States

Many Christians in the United States observe Holy Saturday, which falls between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. It commemorates the day when Jesus Christ lay in the tomb after his death, according to the Christian bible. It is also known as Easter Eve and is the last day of Lent.

Jesus
Holy Saturday is the day before Jesus was resurrected.
Holy Saturday is the day before Jesus was resurrected.
©iStockphoto.com/Jorisvo

What Do People Do?

Many Christians in the United States attend an Easter vigil service on Holy Saturday. They remember Holy Saturday as the day when Jesus lay in his tomb. An Easter candle is lit in some homes, particularly among families who cannot attend the Easter vigil services. Easter vigil prayers are also made on this day. Baptisms are held during some church services on Holy Saturday.

Many American families prepare for Easter Sunday celebrations on the Saturday before Easter. Children decorate eggs with paint, crayon, water colors, stickers and other material. These eggs are often placed in Easter baskets. Some people buy chocolate eggs to eat around this time of the year. Many people of Mexican descent who live in Los Angeles in California celebrate Holy Saturday with a colorful ceremony known as the Blessing of the Animals.

Public Life

Holy Saturday is not a federal public holiday in the United States.

Background

Holy Saturday is the last day of Holy Week and ends the season of Lent. It is also known as the Vigil of Easter. One interesting tradition that has been in the United States for a while is the Blessing of the Animals. It is a special tradition in Los Angeles, California, that began around 1930. The blessing was held on January 17, which is the day of San Antonio de Abad (St Anthony of the desert), in earlier times but cold weather promoted the date change. Animals that have been blessed as part of the ceremony have included cats, camels, cows, dogs, donkeys, goats, iguanas, monkeys, and snakes.

Symbols

Congregation members are sprinkled with blessed water in some churches in the United States. This blessed water symbolizes purification and baptism. Candles that are used for Easter vigil services represent the light of Jesus Christ, and that he brings light into darkness.

About Holy Saturday in other countries

Read more about Holy Saturday.

Holy Saturday Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday TypeWhere It is Observed
SatApr 32010Holy SaturdayChristian 
SatApr 232011Holy SaturdayChristian 
SatApr 72012Holy SaturdayChristian 
SatMar 302013Holy SaturdayChristian 
SatApr 192014Holy SaturdayChristian 
SatApr 42015Holy SaturdayChristian 
SatMar 262016Holy SaturdayChristian 
SatApr 152017Holy SaturdayChristian 
SatMar 312018Holy SaturdayChristian 
SatApr 202019Holy SaturdayChristian 
SatApr 112020Holy SaturdayChristian 

Quick Facts

Holy Saturday is the day before Easter Sunday in the United States.

Holy Saturday 2016

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Holy Saturday 2017

Saturday, April 15, 2017

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Name in other languages

NameLanguage
Holy SaturdayEnglish
Sábado de GloriaSpanish
יום שבת הקדושHebrew
سبت النورArabic
성토요일Korean
PåskeaftenNorwegian
KarsamstagGerman

Alternative name

Sábado Santo

List of dates for other years

Related holidays

Other holidays in March 2016 in the United States

Fun Holiday on March 26, 2016

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