Ekhrestos Anesti, Alisos Anesti: Holy Saturday greetings

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Sat, 07 Apr 2018 - 08:01 GMT

Christians celebrate Holy Saturday by holding up candles lit from the 'Holy Fire' in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's old city - file.jpg

Christians celebrate Holy Saturday by holding up candles lit from the 'Holy Fire' in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's old city - file.jpg

CAIRO – 7 April 2018: All Egyptian Christians, including those not familiar with the Coptic language, greet each other during Holy Saturday saying “Ekhrestos Anesti! Alisos Anesti!” (Christ is risen! Truly he is risen!).

Holy Saturday, or Easter Eve, is one of the most important holy days for Egyptian Christians. Holy Saturday is the name given to the day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Some Christians recognize Holy Saturday, the seventh day of Holy Week, during which Christians prepare for Easter.

It commemorates the day that Jesus' body lay in the tomb and the Harrowing of Hell.

The head of Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church, Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria and patriarch of the Saint Mark Episcopate and all Copts, said that it is known as the Feast of Passover, meaning passing from darkness to light. This is the night before the Resurrection Liturgy, the Apocalypse Night, where they enter the church in darkness and conclude with holy liturgy on Bright Saturday in the light.

On Easter Eve, or Holy Saturday, which falls this year on April 7, many churches hold services that are held as an official celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and it is marked by the use of a wax candle.

Egyptian women, both Muslims and Christians, used to commemorate the day by putting “kohl” (oriental black eyeliner in the form of powder) in their eyelids.

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