Holy Saturday in Western Christianity Date in the current year: March 26, 2016

Holy Saturday in Western Christianity Holy Saturday, also known as Black Saturday, Great Sabbath and Easter Eve, is the last day before Easter. This day commemorates the day when Jesus Christ's body lay in the tomb.

Roman Catholic Churches have special services for this day. All Masses are limited, and Holy Communion is given only to the dying people. No Masses appear in the normal liturgy, and altars are usually covered in black instead of being stripped.

Holy Saturday doesn't last all day long. The liturgy is served only until 6 pm or dusk, and after that the Easter Vigil is celebrated, that marks the official beginning of Easter. The Easter Vigil begins only in the night and ends before the dawn. Sometimes it is started with a fire and lighting of the new Paschal candle.

Different countries have their own traditions, that are connected to Holy Saturday. The Polish bless Easter baskets with food on Holy Saturday, that is this one of the most enduring and beloved traditions. In the Roman Catholic Philippines Holy Saturday is called Black Saturday, that is a sign of mourning. Eating meat and merrymaking are tabooed, commercial establishments, television and radio operate on shorter hours.

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