All Saints’ Day Around the World

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In past years, we’ve posted about Halloween around the World. This year, we’re taking a look at another holiday that’s equally as special and full of wonder.

This traditionally Christian holiday is celebrated in many parts of the Western World, always on November 1. It’s upheld in much of Europe, Mexico, the Philippines, Nicaragua, Haiti, Bolivia, Guatemala, Peru, and many other countries.

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Also known as All Hallows’ Day, Hallowmas or Feast of All Saints, many people commemorate this holiday by visiting the graves of loved ones, or candlelit cemeteries. The name “Halloween” comes from the phrase “All Hallows’ Eve(ning).”

Different cultures celebrate All Saints’ Day differently. In France, this holiday is called La Toussaint, and the French decorate tombs with flowers and wreaths, especially chrysanthemums. In Austria and Bavaria, godfathers present braided pastries, known as Allerheiligenstriezel, to their godchildren.

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The Mexican Dia de los Muertos is a famous take on the holiday, complete with flowers, decorated skeletons, candied skulls, and parades. The Portuguese visit cemeteries and children also go door-to-door to collect cakes, fruits, nuts and sweets. Filipinos visit family graves to clean and repair them, and also play music, sing, eat, while Chinese Filipinos also burn incense.

In many European countries, including Sweden and Lithuania, families will light candles on the graves, so that the whole cemetery is lit up beautifully.

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