Home   Calendar   Holidays   the United States   Holy Saturday
Flag for USA

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.

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 States.

Jesus

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

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday TypeArea
2010SatApr 3Holy SaturdayChristian 
2011SatApr 23Holy SaturdayChristian 
2012SatApr 7Holy SaturdayChristian 
2013SatMar 30Holy SaturdayChristian 
2014SatApr 19Holy SaturdayChristian 
2015SatApr 4Holy SaturdayChristian 
2016SatMar 26Holy SaturdayChristian 
2017SatApr 15Holy SaturdayChristian 
2018SatMar 31Holy SaturdayChristian 
2019SatApr 20Holy SaturdayChristian 
2020SatApr 11Holy SaturdayChristian 

You might also like

Look Up for Shooting Stars!

Look Up for Shooting Stars!

The Leonid meteor shower is active now and peaks on Nov 17/18. Use our Interactive Meteor Shower Sky Map to see when and where to best see these shooting stars. more

Commuters and tourists in Canary Wharf, London, United Kingdom.

Daylight Saving Time (DST)

Daylight Saving Time (DST) is the practice of setting the clocks forward 1 hour from standard time during the summer months, and back again in the fall, in order to make better use of natural daylight. more

Calendar with 12 months

12 Months of the Year

The 12 months of the year are linked to the Moon's orbit around Earth. Why are there 12 months? What do the month names mean? more