Quick Facts : All Saints’ Day
Date: Nov 01, 2016 Type: Religious Also Called: All Hallows, All-Hallow-mas
Celebrations: Cleaning the graves, Offering flowers and light candles on the graves
All Saints’ Day is a Christian festival, celebrated to pay tribute to all the saints. The celebration day may vary from place to place but the motto remains the same. Western Christianity celebrates this day on 1st November while the Eastern Christianity celebrates on the first Sunday after Pentecost. Another name for All Saints’ Day is All Hallows’ Day, All-Hallomas or All Hallows Tide.
Offering flowers and lighting candles on the graves is a very common practice on All Saints’ Day. Some European and Latin American countries such as Portugal, Spain and Mexico, make offerings on this day. It is also a tradition in many countries such as Hungary, Italy and Belgium to visit the graves of dead relatives and bring flowers to the graves on this day. In some other parts of the Europe such as Romania, Austria, Poland, Croatia, and Austria people visit graves of their departed relatives and light candles on top. Some Asian countries celebrate All Saints’ Day. In the Philippines, for example, people make repairs to or clean the graves while visiting the graves of their deceased relatives.
In France, the All Saints’ Day celebration begins on November 1st. It begins with church services that include special prayers in memory of all the Saints with the focus being turned towards the dead by the time evening sets in. People from all over the country gather around the graves of their deceased relatives for decorating and cleaning the graves and for lighting candles on top of them. All Saints’ Day is closely connected with All Souls’ Day which is held on the November 2nd each year. This day is devoted to praying for the souls of the diseased who are not yet glorified. Even though All Saints’ Day is celebrated in many countries of the world it is not considered a public holiday in most of these countries.
It is said that All Saints’ Day can be traced back to the Greek Christians in the fourth century when they participated in a festival in tribute to all martyrs and Saints on the first Sunday after Pentecost. Other sources suggest that the tribute to the “All Martyrs” can be traced back as early as 270 CE. Although Pope Gregory IV officially made All Saints ’ Day a holiday in 835 CE, no one has confirmed the exact date of when or where this custom first started. It is believed that the date of November 1st was chose to replace the Festival of the Dead which is primarily celebrated by the Pagan belief. All Saints’ Day was later tied with All Souls Day in 993 CE in Cluny at the monastery. These two festivals were specifically created to pay tribute to deceased relatives and loved ones and rapidly gained popularity amongst Christians all over the world.