Monday: Last day of development (and even then, no "big changes"). After Monday 20:00 ET, no feature work or unrelated fixes are allowed -- only regression fixes.
Tuesday: All-day test pass. Nobody should develop or fix anything. Literally spend the entire day testing.
Wednesday: Fix day with a focus on fixing regressions found during the test day (Tuesday). No unrelated fixes. Review and thoroughly test all commits.
The last Wednesday build is the release candidate every team signs off on Thursday.
The "New and Noteworthy" entries are due on Wednesday evening: Git repo: ssh://git.eclipse.org/gitroot/www.eclipse.org/eclipse/news.git Gerrit: ssh://git.eclipse.org:29418/www.eclipse.org/eclipse/news.git Live website: https://www.eclipse.org/eclipse/news/4.8/M5
Thursday: Sign-off after re-testing, or at least confirming no changes have been made to your component's code since the last time the component was tested well.
Friday: Build is officially declared and made available.
The master branch stays closed until the milestone is officially released. (That is, it is not enough that your component has signed off.)