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Holy Saturday in the United Kingdom

Holy Saturday falls between Good Friday and Easter Sunday in the United Kingdom. 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 Even and the Great Sabbath.

Is Holy Saturday a Public Holiday?

Holy Saturday is not a public holiday. It falls on Saturday, April 20, 2019 and most businesses follow regular Saturday opening hours in the United Kingdom.

The Lamb of god

Holy Saturday commemorates the day before Jesus arose from death. He is symbolized as the Lamb of God (image pictured above).

©iStockphoto.com/SyYates

What Do People Do?

Many Christians in the United Kingdom participate in an Easter vigil service on Holy Saturday to mark the end of the Lent period before celebrating Easter. They remember Holy Saturday as the day when Jesus lay in his tomb. Many services are held in the evening of Holy Saturday, where candles are lit to proclaim Jesus Christ’s rising. Some church services are held in total darkness before the candles are lit. Some churches have baptisms, renewal of baptismal vows, and confirmations on Holy Saturday.

Many people in the United Kingdom take time off on the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Sunday to enjoy the long Easter weekend. Many people go on a trip to enjoy the short holiday break. Some people spend time in the countryside while others travel to other countries in Europe, such as France, Spain or Portugal.

Many families prepare Easter eggs 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. Chocolate Easter eggs are popular around this time of the year. Some radio stations that feature classical music play special songs sung by cathedral choirs on Holy Saturday.

Public Life

Holy Saturday is not a national bank holiday in the United Kingdom.

Background and Symbols

Holy Saturday is the last day of Holy Week and ends the season of Lent. Easter vigil services in the United Kingdom on Holy Saturday can be traced back to the early years of Christianity during the time of the Roman empire. One tradition that still has symbolic significance today is lighting candles during the Easter vigil services. The lit candle, known as the Paschal candle, signifies 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

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday TypeArea
2015SatApr 4Holy SaturdayChristian 
2016SatMar 26Holy SaturdayChristian 
2017SatApr 15Holy SaturdayChristian 
2018SatMar 31Holy SaturdayChristian 
2019SatApr 20Holy SaturdayChristian 
2020SatApr 11Holy SaturdayChristian 
2021SatApr 3Holy SaturdayChristian 
2022SatApr 16Holy SaturdayChristian 
2023SatApr 8Holy SaturdayChristian 
2024SatMar 30Holy SaturdayChristian 
2025SatApr 19Holy SaturdayChristian 

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