What are the traditions of All Saints' Day?
All Saints’ Day is one of the oldest religious celebrations which comes from the primitive Catholic Church, and it has gained significance in lots of different countries. Today, we are going to look at different All Saints’ Day traditions, a day that has gained such significance that in certain countries, like Spain, November 1st has been declared a national holiday.
History of All Saints’ Day
The origins or creation of this feast day, which is still celebrated today and an important tradition in many countries, especially in Spanish-speaking countries, dates back almost 1,300 years. Pope Gregory III dedicated a chapel to all saints in St. Peter's Basilica during his time at the head of the Catholic Church. He wished for all the saints would be venerated at least one day a year.
Later, in the mid-9th century, Pope Gregory IV extended this feast day to the entire Catholic Church in 835. This was in order to counter the many pagan celebrations that took place at that time. That is why the date of 1 November was chosen for the celebration of All Saints' Day.
Traditions and specificities of All Saints’ Day celebrations
There are many customs and traditions on All Saints’ Day around the world. Although it was originally a Catholic feast day, on these dates it has become a tradition to visit loved ones in the cemeteries, to bring them an offering and honour and pay tribute to their memory. This is very common in all parts of Spain.
One particularly Spanish tradition is the staging of various performances of Don Juan Tenorio. In towns like Soria, it is customary to carry out various literary activities. Another of the most common All Saints' Day traditions in Spain is for families to visit the cemetery, and make an offering, which usually involves placing flowers and lighting candles on the tombstones of loved ones there.
A meal is also usually held or organised for the whole family to get together and share after visiting the deceased in the cemetery.
Without a doubt, All Saints' Day is one of the most important religious festivities and one that has been perpetuated over the years by the Catholic Church and its followers, which is why there is such a diverse range of All Saints' Day traditions.
For this reason, at Áltima we have all the services you need on offer, so that your loved one is honoured, exactly how you would like and how they deserve to be, either on this coming All Saints' Day or on any occasion you choose.