All Saints' Day: What, Where, When?
31 October, 2017

All Saints' Day: What, Where, When?

History: the emergence and transformation

All Saints Day is one of the famous feasts all over the world. It has a long tradition of existence. Firstly, it appears in the 4th century and honors the Church's Martyrs. Three hundred years later it becomes better known as the Day of the Dead or All Saints Day in the Western Europe thanks to the decision of the Pope Boniface IV to celebrate this holiday on May 13.

Then, the intensification of Christianization led to modification of All Saints Day. Now it includes all saints and honors them on November 1. The new date should unite pagans and Christianity traditions of this feast. It gave the result. The celebrating of well-known Halloween Day on October 31 that honor all deads, put the feast of All Saints Day into the logical chain and it became more and more popular.

Alternatives of All Saints Day commemorating

Traditionally, all churches begin to celebrate All Saints Day with a vigil, prayers, and fasting. It takes its roots from the Antioch Church's tradition of the 8th century. There are different ways to honor this day among Catholics, Lutherans, and orthodoxies. The first, organize traditional Mass, with praying to the Virgin Mary and other saints. The second, thank God for all Saints, lives, and deads and pray for them. The third, continue the old tradition of honoring the Church's Martyrs.

Mexico has own unique combined tradition of celebrating. It consists of two days. The first, all pray for died infants or children calling them "little angels." The second day dedicated to memorizing all adult deads.

It is widespread among families to celebrate All Saints Day going to the cemeteries, honoring their dead relatives through various ways. Someone, especially Eastern Europe, is just praying, light candles and put products and drinks on the graves, bring flowers, etc. They prefer calm and deep celebrating, talking about life values and family stories. Others organize whole ceremonies of commemorating, using masks, costumes, fireworks, etc. They perceive the feast as the opportunity to remind that we have one life, so it is not necessary to be sad on this day because even deads like to have fun.

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