All Saints' Day in Austria in 2024

  How long until All Saints' Day?
All Saints' Day
  Dates of All Saints' Day in Austria
2025 Austria Sat, Nov 1 National Holiday
2024 Austria Fri, Nov 1 National Holiday
2023 Austria Wed, Nov 1 National Holiday
2022 Austria Tue, Nov 1 National Holiday
2021 Austria Mon, Nov 1 National Holiday

Pope Boniface IV dedicated the day as a holiday to honour the Blessed Virgin Mary and all martyrs

  Local name
  All Saints' Day in other countries
All Saints' Day internationally
Related holidays

When is All Saint's Day?

All Saints’ Day is generally celebrated on 1st 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 honour saints and martyrs on the Sunday following Pentecost.

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

In 835 AD, during the reign of Pope Gregory III, the festival was moved to 1st November and was expanded to include the honouring of all saints, including those whose sainthood is only known to God.

It is likely that 1st 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 November 1st 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 November 2nd.

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. Whenever November 1st falls on a Monday or a Saturday adjacent to the Sunday sabbath, Catholics are encouraged but not required to attend mass.

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.


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

All Saints' Day Traditions in Austria

Most businesses and shops will remain closed. 

On the evening before All Saints' Day, it is customary for lanterns to be left at Austrian graveyards. Church bells ring at noon on the actual holiday. This signifies a release of the souls of the dead, according to the beliefs surrounding this day.

Many Austrians visit cemeteries on this public holiday and decorate the graves of loved ones with autumn flowers, like marigolds and chrysanthemums (the traditional flower of November). Sometimes wafers are also placed on graves so the dead can return and eat something. 

Another tradition in Austria is the Allerheiligenstriezel or All Saints' braid. This sweet bread pastry is usually given as a gift around this time. In Austria and Bavaria strietzel is given to godchildren by their godfathers for All Saints' Day. This tradition has its origin in the ancient funeral cults in which mourning was expressed by a woman cutting off her braided hair.

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