All Saints Day – celebration around the world

All Saints’ day is the day after All Hallows’ Eve or Halloween. It is a banquet day celebrated on November 1 by many Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Protestant churches. It is also a moment for believers to commemorate all saints and martyrs, known and unknown, all over Christian history. 

Many Catholic and Anglican churches in the United Kingdom mark All Saints’ Day on November 1. This occasion respects all the saints in Christian history, particularly those with particular feast days.

The Christian observance of All Saints’ Day stems from a belief that there is a supreme spiritual connection between those in Heaven, known as Church triumphant, and the living, known as Church Militant. Thus, the day remembers all those who have earned the beatific vision in Heaven in Catholic theology.

Many Catholic celebrate All Saints’ Day by visiting tombstones to respect the memory of deceased relatives. In addition, many Roman Catholics and other Christians worldwide commemorate All Saints Day on November 1, which honors all saints of the Church believed to have attained Heaven.

What are All Saints Day traditions?

During All Saints’ Day observance in places where All Saints’ Day is a public holiday, whole families visit cemeteries and graves of loved ones to decorate with flowers and candles. This time all the cemeteries are illuminated with bright lights. People also pray to reminisce about their loved ones and talk to them. There is this notion that this is the day the souls of the dead can contact us. A stop by at the cemetery during this time allows us to reflect. Most people felt the presence of the dead in human life.

Candles contribute a considerable role during All Saints’ Day. They say that one candle lighted near the tomb of a loved one is a gift offering for their soul to break free to purgatory and enter Heaven.

Public Life

Many countries commemorate All Saints’ Day as a public holiday such as (but not exclusive to):

  • Austria.
  • Belgium.
  • Bolivia.
  • Chile.
  • Croatia.
  • France
  • Parts of Germany
  • Hungary.
  • Italy
  • Liechtenstein.
  • The Philippines.
  • Poland.
  • Portugal.
  • Spain.
  • Sweden (first Saturday of November).
  • Parts of Switzerland.

However, it is not a public holiday in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. However, businesses have regular business hours.

Other Names and Languages for All Saints’ Day

English All Saints’ Day

Croatian Dan svih svetih

Dutch Allerheiligen

Finnish Pyhäinpäivä

French La Toussaint

German Allerheiligen

Hungarian Mindenszentek

Italian Tutti i Santi

Norwegian Allehelgensdag

Norwegian (nynorsk) Allehelgensdag

Polish Wszystkich Świętych

Portuguese Dia de Todos-os-Santos

Slovak Sviatok vŝetkých svätých

Spanish Día de Todos los Santos

Swedish Alla helgons dag

The struggle now lies with the restrictions all over the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some people have relatives buried in a different city or country where they currently live and its challenging nowadays to go to other places. In the Philippines, for example, Filipinos will not be able to do their usual celebration by going to the cemeteries and columbarium because of the restrictions in place. So, must would just resort to lighting candles at home for their loved-ones who have passed. 

Do you think the visit to cemeteries on All Saints’ Day, in other countries, will also be limited due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic?

Note: While various countries mentioned that officially observe All Saints’ Day, it is essential to note that it has not listed every country that formally celebrates the day.


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