Holy Saturday 2024: Date, history, traditions, significance, and celebration - Hindustan Times
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Holy Saturday 2024: Date, history, traditions, significance, and celebration

By, New Delhi
Mar 29, 2024 04:13 PM IST

Holy Saturday falls a day before Easter and is the time for deep spiritual reflection and anticipation. All you want to know.

Holy Saturday, also known as Easter Eve, falls between Good Friday and Easter and is a period of silent and reflection as Christians await the resurrection of Christ and joyous celebration of Easter. The day also marks the end of the 40 days of Lent, a period of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving that begins on Ash Wednesday. The seventh day of the Holy Week, beginning with Palm Sunday, Holy Saturday commemorates the day when Jesus Christ's body lay in the tomb after his crucifixion on Good Friday and before his resurrection on Easter Sunday. On this day, devout prepare themselves physically and spiritually before celebration of Christ's resurrection. (Also read | Good Friday traditions: How Christians around the world celebrate the festival)

This year, Holy Saturday is being observed on Saturday, March 30, 2024 and will be followed by Easter on Sunday, March 31, 2024.(Freepik)
This year, Holy Saturday is being observed on Saturday, March 30, 2024 and will be followed by Easter on Sunday, March 31, 2024.(Freepik)

Holy Saturday Date

This year, Holy Saturday is being observed on Saturday, March 30, 2024 and will be followed by Easter on Sunday, March 31, 2024.

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Holy Saturday History

Good Friday is observed on the day when Jesus Christ was crucified after his arrest and charge of claiming to be the King of the Jews. According to scripture, after his death, Jesus was buried in a tomb, fulfilling ancient prophecies of his resurrection on the third day. Following the custom of the time, women, including Mary Magdalene, Salome, and Mary, visited the tomb to anoint Jesus' body with oils and spices. However, they discovered the tomb empty, with only the burial cloths remaining. A week later, Jesus appeared to his disciples, confirming his resurrection.

Holy Saturday Customs and Traditions

Holy Saturday, or Easter Vigil, is marked by diverse customs globally. In Mexico, it is dubbed Judas Day, where effigies of Judas Iscariot, the betrayer of Jesus, are burned. In Czech tradition, it is known as White Saturday, symbolising purity and anticipation of renewal. Across cultures, the day is observed with a vigil service held an hour after sundown, symbolising the wait before Jesus' resurrection. Lighting fires and candles signify Christ's passage from death to life, while bell tolling marks the end of Lent. On this day, preparations for Easter are also made worldwide, including egg colouring and decorating.

Holy Saturday Significance

Holy Saturday is the time for deep spiritual reflection, anticipation, and preparation for the upcoming celebration of Easter. It is considered a sacred day in the Christian calendar. Holy Saturday is an integral part of the liturgical calendar of the Christian Church and various rituals are practiced to commemorate this solemn day, including the Easter Vigil. In some Christian traditions, Holy Saturday is associated with the belief that Jesus descended into the realm of the dead or 'hell' after his death on the cross. This belief, known as the 'Harrowing of Hell,' holds that Jesus liberated the souls of the righteous who had died before his coming and proclaimed salvation to all.

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