This time of year, it’s generally Halloween, the sugar-filled Bacchanalia, the gets all the attention. But what about its lesser-known follow-ups, all Saints’ Day and also All Souls’ Day?

Celebrated ~ above the day after Halloween, November 1st, all Saints’ Day, as the name implies, is a Christian festival celebrating all (yes, every single one) the the saints. In a neat little bit of etymology, the name of the vault day, Halloween, progressed over time indigenous ‘All Hallows Eve’, or ‘Hallowed evening’ (‘hallowed’ definition holy). The is, the day prior to All Saints’ Day.

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Souls in Purgatory

Next comes every Souls’ Day, i beg your pardon is traditionally celebrated on November second and commemorates the faithful departed – that is, the souls of every Christians who have actually died. Specifically, this was a chance to pray because that those souls that were in Purgatory, that limbo between hell and also heaven, and working their way toward Paradise.

Together, the trilogy of all Hallows’ Eve, every Saints’ Day, and All Souls’ Day, make up Allhallowtide. Prefer many contemporary holidays, this Christian divine days were most likely superimposed over the timeless times because that Celtic festivals through the early on Church. In this instance, the corresponding feast was that of Samhain, marking the finish of the harvest season and the oncoming of winter. This observance of the ‘dying’ of the season elided well through the Christian remembrance of the holy and also faithful dead. Pope Gregory III to be responsible for instituting this readjust in 609 CE.

So, how can you celebrate these 2 holidays? Well, as a Catholic, on all Saints’ Day, attending Mass would be a great start, together it is a holy Day the Obligation. (All Souls’ Day, ~ above the other hand, is not.) And, since it is a time come celebrate the whole pantheon that saints, it could be a great time to brush increase on some of the much more obscure ones. Saint Columbanus, for example, an ireland monk who travelled extensively around Europe in the 6th/7th centuries has today been placed forward as the patron saint the motorcyclists. Due to the fact that winter is coming, you Saint Lidwina, the patron saint of ice cream skating, might be a relevant choice. Or, if you like your saints four-legged and furry, you might offer increase a prayer come Saint Guinefort, a middle ages greyhound (yes, that’s right). Or friend can likewise read around some of the more unusual miracles carry out by saints.


If you prefer baking to praying, you can whip increase a batch of heart cakes. These simple cakes, filled through spices and also raisins and topped with a cross, were distributed to the poor. Follow to some traditions, youngsters would walk door-to-door requesting spirit cakes in exchange for providing up prayers for the dead – a feasible partial origin of modern trick-or-treating.

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Both of these days reflect the intense importance medieval world placed top top the strength of prayer. It could assist to speed a loved one’s progression through the trials that purgatory and into heaven. That could contact upon a long-dead saint come intercede on her behalf, no issue how huge or little your problems. Heading right into the dark and also cold that winter, this would have readily available a sense of ritual and also reassurance the was valued in medieval life. Simply something to consider while coming under from the street high of Halloween.