All Saints' Day in the United States
Many Catholic churches in the United States celebrate All Saints' Day to honor all the saints, particularly those who do not have their own special feast day, on November 1.
What Do People Do?
All Saints' Day is also known as All Hallows Tide, All-Hallomas, or All Hallows' Day, and it's celebrated in many areas of the United States, especially where there are large Roman Catholic populations.
In New Orleans, for example, people gather in local cemeteries and decorate the graves with flowers. The descendants of French Canadian settlers around St Martinsville, Louisiana, observe this day in the traditional French manner by laying wreaths and bouquets and lighting candles on even the most obscure graves.
All Saints' Day, which is celebrated globally, is closely tied with All Souls’ Day, which was first instituted at the monastery in Cluny, France in 993 CE and quickly spread among Christians. Some eastern churches in the United States celebrated All Saints' Day on the first Sunday after Pentecost.
Day After Halloween
All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day are also closely linked with Halloween, which is a shortened for the name “All Hallows' Eve”.
In the United Methodist Church, All Saints' Day is observed on the first Sunday in November to remember deceased members of the local church congregation. A candle is lit as each person's name is called out, followed by a prayer offered for each soul.
Many Latin American communities in the United States hold celebrations around November 1 and 2, linking with All Saints’ Day and All Souls' Day (November 2). These celebrations are part of the Day of the Dead, also known as Día de los Muertos.
All Saints’ Day is not a federal public holiday in the United States.
According to some sources, the idea for All Saints' Day goes back to the fourth century when the Greek Christians kept a festival on the first Sunday after Pentecost (in late May or early June) in honor of all martyrs and saints. Other sources say that a commemoration of “All Martyrs” began to be celebrated as early as 270 CE, but no specific month or date is recorded.
Pope Gregory IV made All Saints' Day an authorized holiday in 837 CE. It is speculated that the chosen date for the event, November 1, may have been an attempt to supplant pagan festivals that occurred around the same time.
Symbols commonly associated with All Saints’ Day are:
- A sheaf of wheat.
- Rayed Manus Dei (hand of God).
- The crown.
- Symbols / images of saints.
The liturgical color is white on All Saints' Day.
About All Saints' Day in other countriesRead more about All Saints' Day.
All Saints' Day Observances
|Weekday||Date||Year||Name||Holiday Type||Where It is Observed|
|Mon||Nov 1||2010||All Saints' Day||Christian|
|Tue||Nov 1||2011||All Saints' Day||Christian|
|Thu||Nov 1||2012||All Saints' Day||Christian|
|Fri||Nov 1||2013||All Saints' Day||Christian|
|Sat||Nov 1||2014||All Saints' Day||Christian|
|Sun||Nov 1||2015||All Saints' Day||Christian|
|Tue||Nov 1||2016||All Saints' Day||Christian|
|Wed||Nov 1||2017||All Saints' Day||Christian|
|Thu||Nov 1||2018||All Saints' Day||Christian|
|Fri||Nov 1||2019||All Saints' Day||Christian|
|Sun||Nov 1||2020||All Saints' Day||Christian|
Quick FactsMany Catholics honor all the saints on All Saints' Day, also known as All Hallows' Day, in the United States.
All Saints' Day 2016Tuesday, November 1, 2016
All Saints' Day 2017Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Name in other languages
|All Saints' Day||English|
|Día de Todos Los Santos||Spanish|
|יום כל הקדושים||Hebrew|
Alternative nameAll Hallows' Day
Other holidays in November 2016 in the United States
- All Souls' Day – Wednesday, November 2, 2016
- Election Day – Tuesday, November 8, 2016
- Marine Corps Birthday – Thursday, November 10, 2016
- Veterans Day – Friday, November 11, 2016
- Thanksgiving Day – Thursday, November 24, 2016
- State Holiday – Friday, November 25, 2016
- First Sunday of Advent – Sunday, November 27, 2016
- Cyber Monday – Monday, November 28, 2016