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All Saints' Day in Germany

Quick Facts

All Saints' Day is an annual public holiday in five German states to remember all Christian saints on November 1.

Local names

NameLanguage
AllerheiligenGerman
All Saints' DayEnglish

Alternative name

All Hallows' Day

All Saints' Day 2014

Saturday, November 1, 2014

All Saints' Day 2015

Sunday, November 1, 2015
List of dates for other years

Catholics and some Protestants in Germany honor the lives of every saint on All Saints' Day (Allerheiligen) on November 1. They also remember deceased relatives and visit their graves. This day is a public holiday in the states of Baden-Württemberg, Bayern, Rheinland-Pfalz, Nordrhein-Westfalen and Saarland.

All Saints' Day in Germany is dedicated to the Christian saints.

©iStockphoto.com/Mary Lane

What do people do?

Traditionally, Catholics attend a special church service, light candles and pray for deceased relatives. They may also visit the graves of deceased relatives and family friends. In Catholic areas, many graveyards are decorated with flowers and candles are lit as soon as it starts to get dark in the late afternoon. On November 1 or the closest Sunday, Protestants may also visit a special church service or pray for deceased relatives.

Public life

All Saints' Day is a public holiday in Baden-Württemberg, Bayern, Rheinland-Pfalz, Nordrhein-Westfalen and Saarland. In these states, post offices, banks, stores and other businesses are closed. However, stores in some tourist areas may be open and stores at railway stations, airports and along highways are usually open.

Public transport services may be regular, reduced or have no service depending on where one lives and wants to travel. All Saints' Day is not a public holiday in other parts of Germany.

Background

Some sources say that All Saints' Day's origins date back to 609 CE or 610 CE, when the Pantheon in Rome was consecrated to the Blessed Virgin and all martyrs. This coincided with the pre-Christian Feast of the Lemures that honored all of the dead. However, other sources have different dates.

Symbols

All Saints' Day is represented by paintings and images of many saints together. The saints may surround or look towards a figure representing Jesus and be accompanied by angels. Saints are often represented with a golden halo above or behind their heads.

In some areas of Germany, a Newweling symbolizes All Saints' Day. A Newweling is made of two or more candle wicks dipped in wax and wrapped around a cone shaped form. The form is removed before the candle is lit. Traditionally, each candle wick is dipped in red, white, blue, yellow or green wax and two or more different colors are used for each candle.

About All Saints' Day in other countries

Read more about All Saints' Day.

All Saints' Day Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday typeWhere it is observed
ThuNov 11990All Saints' DaySilent DayBW, BY, NRW, RLP, SL
FriNov 11991All Saints' DaySilent DayBW, BY, NRW, RLP, SL
SunNov 11992All Saints' DaySilent DayBW, BY, NRW, RLP, SL
MonNov 11993All Saints' DaySilent DayBW, BY, NRW, RLP, SL
TueNov 11994All Saints' DaySilent DayBW, BY, NRW, RLP, SL
WedNov 11995All Saints' DaySilent DayBW, BY, NRW, RLP, SL
FriNov 11996All Saints' DaySilent DayBW, BY, NRW, RLP, SL
SatNov 11997All Saints' DaySilent DayBW, BY, NRW, RLP, SL
SunNov 11998All Saints' DaySilent DayBW, BY, NRW, RLP, SL
MonNov 11999All Saints' DaySilent DayBW, BY, NRW, RLP, SL
WedNov 12000All Saints' DaySilent DayBW, BY, NRW, RLP, SL
ThuNov 12001All Saints' DaySilent DayBW, BY, NRW, RLP, SL
FriNov 12002All Saints' DaySilent DayBW, BY, NRW, RLP, SL
SatNov 12003All Saints' DaySilent DayBW, BY, NRW, RLP, SL
MonNov 12004All Saints' DaySilent DayBW, BY, NRW, RLP, SL
TueNov 12005All Saints' DaySilent DayBW, BY, NRW, RLP, SL
WedNov 12006All Saints' DaySilent DayBW, BY, NRW, RLP, SL
ThuNov 12007All Saints' DaySilent DayBW, BY, NRW, RLP, SL
SatNov 12008All Saints' DaySilent DayBW, BY, NRW, RLP, SL
SunNov 12009All Saints' DaySilent DayBW, BY, NRW, RLP, SL
MonNov 12010All Saints' DaySilent DayBW, BY, NRW, RLP, SL
TueNov 12011All Saints' DaySilent DayBW, BY, NRW, RLP, SL
ThuNov 12012All Saints' DaySilent DayBW, BY, NRW, RLP, SL
FriNov 12013All Saints' DaySilent DayBW, BY, NRW, RLP, SL
SatNov 12014All Saints' DaySilent DayBW, BY, NRW, RLP, SL
SunNov 12015All Saints' DaySilent DayBW, BY, NRW, RLP, SL, TH
TueNov 12016All Saints' DaySilent DayBW, BY, NRW, RLP, SL, TH
WedNov 12017All Saints' DaySilent DayBW, BY, NRW, RLP, SL, TH
ThuNov 12018All Saints' DaySilent DayBW, BY, NRW, RLP, SL, TH
FriNov 12019All Saints' DaySilent DayBW, BY, NRW, RLP, SL, TH
SunNov 12020All Saints' DaySilent DayBW, BY, NRW, RLP, SL, TH

Other holidays in November 2014 in Germany

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