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Origin Of Holidays

All Saints Day

Mostly a Catholic holy day which sprang from the Feast of All Souls. The Feast of All Souls began around the 700s when monks offered mass the day after Pentecost for their dead members of the church. In the tenth century, this mass was moved to November 2, the day after the Feast of All Saints which is November 1st.

All Saints Day is a way for the Catholics of the time to counter the Celtic celebration of Halloween which was to honor the dead in a different way. Most of the traditions of Halloween have to do with fear of the dead with dressing up as a ghost, witch, or some ghoulish figure and bribing the evil spirits with treats. It was believed that the souls of dead people were imprisoned in the bodies of animals and on Halloween could be freed through gifts and sacrifices.

All Saints Day and All Souls Day offered a sanitized version to honor the dead instead of fearing them. To give the lost souls a chance at redemption through prayer was for All Souls Day. To remember the deeds of the Saints and holy ones was for All Saints Day.

In the US and in Europe, All Saints Day is where a Catholic will go to church to remember and say a prayer for the Saints and holy ones. In Europe many Catholics will visit cemeteries, to light candles and place flowers on family graves or go to church to say a prayer for loved ones on All Souls Day.

All Saints on November 1st is to remember the glories of Heaven and those who are there. All Souls Day on November 2nd is to remember the obligation to live a holy life and to help purify the souls of those who may one day reach Heaven, dead or alive.