Holy Saturday, or, as it also called, Black Sabbath, is a day which commemorates the deed of Christian messiah Jesus Christ, known as “Harrowing of Hell”. It’s settled one day before the Easter, just after the joyful day of Good Friday. This is also the last day of Holy Week – the day which most of the Christians all around the globe spend preparing to the Easter itself.
When is Holy Saturday in 2017? As you probably know, major part of Christian holidays and feasts has no fixed date. It’s usually varies depending on the days of week. Obviously, Holy Saturday is settled on the last Saturday before Easter, leading us to a conclusion that this year it’ll be on April 15th in both hemispheres.
So, what happened on this historically important date hundreds of years before? The Great Son of The Lord, Jesus Christ, descended to Hell, or, rather, Limbo. By this heroic oblation he saved the souls of all dead righteous men. His body was laid in tomb and his mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary achieved new name: Our lady of Solitude. This name was assigned to her due to the unbearable grief and endless solace she suffered.
Harrowing of Hell
After the horrible crucifixion of our messiah that led to His death, something that is often mentioned as “The Lord’s Descent into Hell” happened.
It’s common mistake to think that Hell is place, reserved for sinners and only them. According to Catechism, “Hell” is space, where all dead are located, no matter how bad or good, unless they ascend directly to the Heaven. Thus, Christ opened Heaven’s Gate and led all righteous folk out of the unholy flames of Gehenna.
So, if you want to pay respect and offer gratitude, you probably should remember when is Holy Saturday 2017 will be. As was previously stated, this year it will be the fifteenth of April.
Holy Saturday in Britain
Though, Holy Saturday is not an official holiday in UK, British people still celebrating this event in their own way. They attend to church services, getting done with their Easter preparations and plan trips and travels, as Holy Saturday in a way marks the beginning of long Easter vacations.
The symbol of this day is pure white candle, which represents beacon of light in shadows of infernal darkness, as inimitable Jesus Christ lead the people out of their misery. A lot of churches provide services in the evening dark, lighting candles up only in the very end, depicting the glorious rise of the messiah.
Also, Holy Saturday is the day of decorating houses and Easter eggs. Children use their imagination, as well as various painting tools such as crayons and water colors to prepare eggs, while adults are hiding them in different places.
Holy Saturday in USA
In USA, just like in Great Britain, Holy Saturday is not an official holiday in any way. Still, major part of American people celebrates it, commemorating Christ’s unbelievable act.
By the way, what is the date of Holy Saturday 2017 in USA and UK? Just like in any other country, Christians fete this day in April, fifteenth.
So, what is special about this day in America? Distinctive feature of Vigil of Easter in USA is so-called blessing of the animals. It’s a distinguishing tradition of California, which began to exist in faraway 1930 year. Thousands of animals were blessed since, including dogs, cats, cows, goats, squirrels, various birds, sloths, even monkeys and camels.
Also, during the feasting of Holy Saturday members of parish are sprinkled with blessed water, which symbolizes clarification of the soul through baptism. Same procedure is rather popular in Russian Federation and neighboring countries, including Ukraine and Belarus.
Holy Saturday in Poland
In Poland, people commemorate the tragic death of the Lord on Holy Saturday, or, as they call it, “Wielka Sobota”. They bring baskets of food to churches, where they being blessed through sprinkling with pure holy water. And though contents of basket vary from person to person, some of the products are traditionally included, like Easter eggs, smoked meat, bread, cheese and cakes. They also commonly include some sweets, such as chocolate and fruits.
By the way, the tradition of painting the Easter eggs, which usually symbolize life’s victory over death, or, simply put, resurrection, is not native Christian tradition. It came from pagan rituals and was assigned to Christian religion only through the process of amalgamation of different cultures. Other notable symbols are meat and salt. It’s believed that salt protects you from the forces of evil and smoked meat helps you gain strong health and physical strength.
Although you can’t find out when is Holy Saturday in 2017 in calendar due to the fact that it’s not an official holiday in Poland, you still can join thousands of people, who celebrate it on the fifteenth of April.
Holy Saturday in Australia
First of all, in majority of Australia Holy Saturday is an official holiday, unlike in many other countries. That means that a lot of public services are closed and shops mostly work by contracted schedules. But in Tasmania and South Australia public life remains untouched, as in those states H.S. is not an official holiday by any means. There, public transporting system and other services work as usual.
You may be asking yourself, what day Holy Saturday in 2017? The answer is simple: as in any country with Christian population, Holy Saturday is observed in the last Saturday before the Easter.