All Saints' Day in Italy in 2024

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

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

  Local name
Tutti i santi (Ognissanti)
  All Saints' Day in other countries
All Saints' Day internationally
Related holidays

All Saints' Day in Italy

All Saints’ Day, or Ognissanti, on 1st November is a public holiday in Italy, resulting in the closure of government offices, schools, and many private businesses. Public transport runs according to its Sunday schedule.

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.

Ognissanti in Italy

The American tradition of Halloween is becoming increasingly popular among Italian children who shout 'dolcetto o scherzetto' as they go trick or treating. All Saints’ Day remains a much more traditional Italian holiday, which is followed by All Souls’ Day when many Italians go home to be with family and to pay their respects to dearly departed relatives.

On All Souls’ Day (Italian: la commemorazione dei defunti) it is traditional to eat sweets like 'fave dei morti'. In Ancient Roman times, it was thought that black broad beans symbolised the souls of the dead. The beans were a part of funeral rights and were thrown over the shoulders of mourners to honor the dead. In Perugia, this gave rise to the custom of baking cookies called 'fave dei morti'.

It is traditional to go to Italian cemeteries to place chrysanthemums on the graves of deceased relatives.

There are also regional variations in the traditions: in Sicily, the deceased rise from the dead to bring gifts to well-behaved children, while children in Sardinia go door to door to ask for offerings from the deceased. Romans will eat a meal near the gravesites of loved ones, while people in the region of Abruzzo and Trentino fashion lanterns by placing candles in pumpkins.

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