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All Saints' Day 2018

On November 1, several countries celebrate All Saints’ Day.

All Saints' Day is celebrated on 1 November in several countries

When is All Saints' Day?

How long until All Saints' Day?
This holiday next takes place in 43 Days.
Duration
1 Day
Summary
Pope Boniface IV dedicated the day as a holiday to honour the Blessed Virgin Mary and all martyrs
Dates of All Saints Day
Year Weekday Date
2020 Sunday
2019 Friday
2018 Thursday
2017 Wednesday
2016 Tuesday
Who observes All Saints' Day?
Austria Austria Belgium Belgium
Benin Benin Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina (regional)
Burkina Faso Burkina Faso Burundi Burundi
Central African Republic Central African Republic Chad Chad
Chile Chile Congo Congo
Croatia Croatia East Timor East Timor
France France French Guiana French Guiana
French Polynesia French Polynesia Gabon Gabon
Germany Germany (regional) Guadeloupe Guadeloupe
Guatemala Guatemala Guinea Guinea
Haiti Haiti Hungary Hungary
Italy Italy Ivory Coast Ivory Coast
Liechtenstein Liechtenstein Lithuania Lithuania
Luxembourg Luxembourg Madagascar Madagascar
Martinique Martinique Monaco Monaco
Peru Peru Philippines Philippines
Poland Poland Portugal Portugal
Senegal Senegal Seychelles Seychelles
Slovakia Slovakia Slovenia Slovenia
Spain Spain Togo Togo
Vatican City Vatican City

All Saints’ Day is celebrated on 1 November as a commemoration day for all Christian saints. It may also be known as All Hallows' Day, Solemnity of All Saints, Hallowmas, or Feast of Saints.

Traditions of All Saints' Day

The origin of All Saints' Day may date back to a Greek Christian tradition from the 4th century, when a festival was held to honor saints and martyrs on the Sunday following Pentecost.

The first recorded All Saints’ Day occurred on 13 May 609 CE when Pope Boniface IV accepted the Pantheon in Rome as a gift from the Emperor Phocas. The Pope dedicated the day as a holiday to honour the Blessed Virgin and all the martyrs.

In 835 CE, during the reign of Pope Gregory III, the festival was moved to 1 November and was expanded to include the honouring of all saints. It is likely that 1 November was intentionally chosen to replace the pagan feast of the dead, Samhain. The night before Samhain was a time when evil spirits roamed the land looking for humans. To confuse the spirits, people would dress up as creatures. This tradition carried on after 1 November became a Christian festival, hence the name of Halloween - which is a shortened version of All Hallows' Eve.

The day survived the Reformation, though the Protestants combined it with All Souls’ Day, which was on 2 November.

The day was abolished as a church festival in 1770, but may be celebrated by many churches on the first Sunday in November.

In Roman Catholicism, All Saints' Day is a Holy Day of Obligation. This means Catholics must go to Mass on the date unless there is a good reason not to attend, such as illness. The holiday is typically observed with a reading of the Beatitudes, eight blessings given in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount as recounted in the Gospel of Matthew.

In recent years, it has become common in many churches to commemorate those who died during the year on the day itself.

The tradition of placing candles on the graves the evening before All Saints’ Eve is becoming more common.

All Saints Day around the world

Finland, Sweden

In Finland and Sweden, All Saints Day is celebrated on the Saturday between 31 October and 6 November.

Netherlands

In the Netherlands, this holiday is observed on the first Sunday in November, but it is not a public holiday.

Colombia

In Colombia, the holiday is celebrated on the Monday on or after 1 November.

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