All Saints' Day

All Saints ( Omnium Sanctorum Festum Latin ) is a Christian feast, to which all the saints is intended - even those that were not canonized - as well as the many saints, to whose holiness no one knows but God.

It is celebrated in the Western Church on November 1, in the Orthodox churches on the first Sunday after Pentecost. All Saints' Day is a feast of the Catholic Church and a Principal Feast of the Anglican Church. The liturgical color is white. The Lutheran churches celebrate it as a day of remembrance of the saints ( here is the liturgical color red), also similar to other Protestant churches.


During the first Christian centuries, it became increasingly impossible due to the increasing number of saints to commemorate each saint on a special day. Annual Days of Remembrance for deceased already existed in ancient Christianity. In the Eastern Church can be found since the beginning of the 4th century then explicitly Allerheiligenfeste that were celebrated as of rest on the 1st Sunday after Pentecost. In the Western Church Pope Boniface IV consecrated on 13 May 609 or 610, the pagan Roman Pantheon in Rome - before the sanctuary of the ancient world of gods - the Virgin Mary and all the martyrs and ordered an annual celebration on first Friday after Easter, because the is influenced strongly hard content from Easter forth. Pope Gregory III. dedicated more than a hundred years later, a chapel in the Basilica of St. Peter to all the saints and therefore appealed for the city of Rome the holiday to November 1. End of the 8th century, the feast especially in France began to celebrate on this day, and the appointment gradually spread throughout the Western Church until Pope Gregory IV stipulated 835 All Saints for the entire Western Church on November 1. Since the end of the 10th century, starting from the Benedictine abbey of Cluny, in addition held on November 2 All Souls' Day with a day of remembrance of all deceased who are according to the Catholic understanding in Purgatory and have not yet reached full communion with God.

The assumption that the Christians could have the choice of the date the Celtic festival of Samhain, a festival of the dead on the first day of winter taken up, is controversial, since history and spatial extent of the Samhain festival are unclear. For a connection is the fact that the November date for All Saints' Day was first introduced in the 8th century in Italy, where Samhain was unknown. In the early Christianized Ireland All Saints' Day was first celebrated in the spring. But it must be remembered that the missionary in Ireland began in the 4th and 5th centuries AD and certainly traveled Irish clergyman Italy and Rome.

All Saints' Day as a legal holiday

In Austria, Liechtenstein, the strongly Catholic cantons of Switzerland (see holidays in Switzerland), the majority of Catholic German states of Baden -Württemberg, Bavaria, North Rhine -Westphalia, Rhineland -Palatinate and Saarland, Luxembourg, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Poland, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Lithuania and the Southeast Asian Philippines is All Saints Day is a public holiday. In Sweden and Finland, the holiday falls on a Saturday between 31 October and 6 November. In the Netherlands, of All Saints was abolished as a legal holiday in 1960.

In the said German Länder All Saints is a so-called quiet holiday. This means that on this day no dance events must be carried out and loud music is prohibited.


As Allerheiligengebäck known in the southern German -speaking countries the All Saints, the baptismal or godfather give away to their godchildren. The custom there from Burgenland on the Upper Austrian Inn and Hausruckviertel to the southeast Bavarian Chiem and Rupertigau. The Christmas cake is made from yeast dough ( dough ) in the form of braided, sprinkled with coarse sugar sprinkles or braids. In the northern Oberpfalz, this Allerheiligengebäck " Strietzl ".

On the day after All Saints Roman Catholic Church celebrates the All Souls' Day, on which the poor souls in purgatory is thought. In many places, the graves blessing involved is already in the afternoon of All Saints, the non-working public holiday, made. Linked to this is the custom, especially with lights to decorate the graves especially. In the Mainz cemeteries is the traditional candle Mainz, the Newweling, inflamed.

In English-speaking Saints (English " All Saints", "All Saints ' Day" ) is often committed with the processional hymn For All the Saints.

All Saints Day and Halloween

On the eve, October 31, is celebrated in the United States and many European countries Halloween. The word Halloween is derived from the American- English term All Hallows Eve ( " all saints eve " ), the liturgical eve of All Saints, from. In today's unreturned from North America form it has adopted a strongly commercialized and secularized form.

Pictures of All Saints' Day