All Saints’ Day and Halloween – what is the difference

In a couple of days, on the 1st of November, we will celebrate All Saints’ Day. Do you know what this holiday represents? Is it somehow connected to Halloween? Read on for some interesting facts.

All Saints’ Day as a Catholic holiday

All Saints’ Day, also known as All Hallows’ Day, or Feast of All Saints, is a holiday when Catholics celebrate all saints, which means all of those who entered heaven. No matter if they are known or unknown.

Why November 1?

In the 7th century, Pope Boniface IV established All Saints’ Day on May 13. The date was shifted to November 1 by Pope Gregory III when he consecrated a chapel to all the martyrs in Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome. First, it was celebrated only in Rome, but Pope Gregory IV extended the holiday to the entire Church.

Sometimes the All Saints’ Day is being mixed with All Souls' Day celebrated on November 2. This day is dedicated to those who have died, and are being cleansed of their sins to enter heaven.

What has All Saints’ Day in common with Halloween?

In English, the traditional name for All Saints’ Day was All Hallows’ Day. Hallow means a holy person. The evening before All Hallows’ Day is called All Hallows’ Eve, or Halloween.


Halloween – originally a Celtic holiday

Halloween is mostly a nonreligious holiday celebrated on October 31. It has its origins in the festival of Samhain among the Celts, who believed this was the first day of winter and the beginning of the new cycle. The souls of those who have died were believed to return to visit their homes. The Celts wore masks to avoid being recognized by the ghosts and evil spirits.

Nowadays, Halloween is a favorite holiday among children and is associated with many fun activities: children wear masks, do jack-o-lanterns, and go from door to door to do some thick-or-treating.





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