Talk:All Saints' Day

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Typical caveat[edit]

the text about the Catholic holiday comes from An Old Unnameable Source whose copyright has now expired. I've attempted to verify the information in it and determine if it's still relevant, but may have missed something important. So please feel free to update, clarify, expand, refactor, etc. --KQ

Among Christianized feasts, I've cut " Lupercalia Christianized as Candlemas" because the entry Candlemas clearly explains how Candlemas follows Christmas by 40 days, thus falling or not falling near Lupercalia by accident, depending on when Christmas is observed. These Christianized feasts are bones of contention with various Christianists, so Wikipedia needs to be fastidiously careful here. Wetman 15:59, 23 May 2004 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree, Wetman. I think "Christianize" may be the wrong term, as festivals like Easter and Christmas have Christian origin, and only the dates and some symbols of the pagan holiday have been co-opted. I think it is somewhat inappropriate to say that these festivals have pagan origin. I do not, however, feel the same about holidays that clearly do have a pagan origin, but were later blessed by the church. Any comment on my change to the link to Easter is welcome. I found it semantically incorrect to claim that Christians all over the world celebrate Pascha and not Easter, since this is not an English word (at least not a common one), and Easter and Pascha are basically the same holiday. I consider this somewhat similar to saying "In Mexico, they do not drive cars -- they drive coches" ThePedanticPrick 01:34, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)
We agree, I think, that when fundamental aspects of Saturnalia are applied to Christmas, and when Christmas supplants Saturnalia in the calendar, to say that Saturnalia has been "Christianized" is a perfectly frank way of expressing what has been co-opted. In a similar fashion, the former Christian feast of All Saints covered needs formerly catered to by the Lemuria and the "modern" one moved to November 1 occupies Samhain. To suppress any reference to Samhain and treat the November 1 date as merely coincidental, is to follow a Roman catholic hard line. We don't have to do that at Wikipedia. "Christianize" may be the "wrong" term, but it is an accurate and honest one. (Those opinionated remarks about Easter that you removed were certainly not mine! Good riddance to distracting blather, says me.)

From “Lives of saints, from the Book of Lismore” [an early 15th Gaelic century manuscript]: “fo.67 a, i. A piece entitled Scél na samhna (the story of All Saints Day).

Begins: [skipping Irish text] A certain emperor, named Phocas, assumed the Roman’s realm. Every year at samáin (All Saints day) a great assembly was held by him in Rome. This was right, for the samain was the chief solemnity of the heathen at that time, for all the gods of the world, from east to west (lit. from sunrise to sunset), were worhsipped on that day.

It then related how the Pantheon (‘dommus omnium deorum, .i.i tegduis na n-uili dhee’) was given to Boniface, and dedicated by him to all the saints. Compare the piece entitled Fagail na Samna in the Bibliotheque Nationale, Celt. Et B.1 fo. 15 b, 2.” Bernard.

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Article Title[edit]

Should this article not be retitled "All Saints Day" to avoid confusion? The article about the similar All Souls Day does include the "day" in the article title. One of these should be renamed.

"All Saints" is broader than "All Saints Day." Is the new opening better? --Wetman 22:48, 9 May 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree with the OP - it should be filed under All Saints' Day for consistency (talk) 07:21, 8 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]


If I'm not mistaken, "hollow" refers to a spirit, in the will-o'-wisp sense, and "mas" has several different meanings depending on where it comes from. I'm not confident enough in my knowledge to make the changes needlessly, though.


Re: "'hallow' meaning 'holy,' and 'mas' meaning 'Mass'"

I am no linguist, but Prof. Gardner's introduction to the Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins describes how the poet "revived with profit a few obsolete native forms such as hallows (saints)". I think 'Hallows' for 'Saints' makes slightly more sense than 'Hallows' for 'Holy' as above (and far more so than 'Hollows' for 'Spirits' as suggested on the talk page) given that the feast in question was once known as 'All Hallows' but now as 'All Saints'.Dogbox 22:44, 30 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I would agree, I would go even further. All Hallows usually means All Saints, which can be seen in Halloween, a contraction of All Hallows Evening, the eve of All Hallows. I think the problem lies in semantics. All Hallows factually means all that is Holy. In Western Christianity this means all the Saints and Angels, which are are referred to as All Hallows. The feast of All Hallows and All Souls is referred to as Hallowmas, just as the feast around the birth of Christ is referred to as Christmas.JHvW 13:36, 30 December 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

'Celebrations in Central Europe'[edit]

The article says that in Poland, Germany, and Lithuania, All Saint's Day is when people visit cemeteries. However, the All Soul's Day article suggests that it is All Soul's Day (there is even a link to an article with the Polish name of the holiday). I believe that All Soul's Day (Nov. 2) is correct in this case. 01:40, 1 November 2006 (UTC)BKReply[reply]

Actually, people visit cemeteries and light candles on both days, some even before or after November 1 and November 2. All Saints' Day is more significant, however, since it is an official holiday.

As a name[edit]

Would someone add to this article an explanation about how 'Todos los Santos' (All Saints) is used by the King of Spain's grandchildren? I would appreciate it. This is something I have long wondered about. I think an explanation about the reason for the use, the tradition behind it, and what members of the royal family have it, would be a good place to start. --Ashley Rovira 18:16, 14 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Official Name[edit]

I know that this occasion is known as the Solemnity of All Saints in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church. I am uncomfortable changing this because the religious holiday is observed in other religious communities I know less about. However, it is definitely not a Feast, but a Solemnity, in the Catholic Church. MrArticleOne 17:32, 5 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Narrowing of those who celebrate[edit]

The Following Sentence: "In terms of Western Christian theology, the day commemorates all those who have attained the beatific vision in heaven." Would better read: "In terms of Western Roman Catholic theology, the day commemorates all those who have attained the beatific vision in heaven." It is not celebrated in Protestantism, and to the best of my knowledge is not celebrated in other branches of Christendom. There may be some very minor exceptions, but at this point, it is less accurate than it would be with my suggested revision.

Actually, All Saints is celebrated on the liturgical calenders of the Anglican and Lutheran churches, and many parishes of the United Methodist Church also have a special service for the day. --Willthacheerleader18 (talk) 02:51, 22 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ancient Pagan Observation?[edit]

This article states with certainty that "the chosen day, May 13, was a pagan observation of great antiquity, the culmination of three days of the Feast of the Lemures, in which the malevolent and restless spirits of the dead were propitiated." However, other secular sources, such as the Encyclopedia Britannica, contest this claim by stating that "The origin of All Saints' Day cannot be traced with certainty, and it has been observed on various days in different places." To me, it seems like a secular attack on Catholicism to claim that the celebration of All Saints' Day definitively originated from a pagan festival. -- Ambrosiaster (talk) 20:12, 31 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"also called All Hallows"[edit]

I understand that this title was used in the past, but I don't think it is every called this any more in a living usage. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Richardson mcphillips (talkcontribs) 18:43, 1 November 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was Moved article to more specific name, disambiguation-page to simple-name. No evidence that the more general term is the commonname for the topic; evidence that there are many meanings (even if some more popular than others, too diverse and no evidence to support what primarytopic would be), so a more specific or proper name is the natural DAB approach. DMacks (talk) 08:35, 13 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

– This article is about All Saints' Day, and so that is the title which most of the English-speaking world (and possibly some other parts) will expect to find. I have always heard it referred to by this name. Additionally, All Saints are a girlband who were successful all over the world for many years and are known worldwide as well. As the last two months' wikitraffic shows, they are a much more common target than that of the feast day and the Australian TV drama. Add on All Saints (band) and you get an extra 3,261.

Unreal7 (talk) 20:55, 3 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Page Hits this month and last
All Saints (group) 27,358 plus 3,261 for All Saints (band) - in total 30,619
All Saints 13,860
All Saints (TV series) 7,748
  • Support/Oppose Support moving the day to "All Saints' Day". Oppose moving the pop-group. The disambiguation page All Saints (disambiguation) should be moved to the short name instead. "All Saints" weren't all that successful, unlike PCD or Spice Girls, unless you lived in Britain. -- (talk) 05:17, 4 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yeah, over 10 million record sales isn't very successful... A lot of those sales weren't in Britain. Unreal7 (talk) 14:59, 4 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

"All saints day" is a stolen pagan tradition[edit]

"All saints day" is a stolen pagan tradition. People in Russia were even bringing their food to the graves of their relatives. The calendar cycles in Slavic are called Godi; at the times before Saints there were Godi (="Years") of Bogi (Gods). So literally "Gods" (cycles).


In the article the date of All Hallows Day or All Saints Day is described as:

All Saints' Day (also known as All Hallows, Solemnity of All Saints or The Feast of All Saints) is a solemnity celebrated on 2 November by the Catholic Church, and on the first Sunday after Pentecost in Eastern Catholicism, in honour of all the saints, known and unknown. All Saints' Day is the second day of Hallowmas, and begins at sunrise on the first day of November and finishes at sundown. It is the day before All Souls' Day.

Surely this means that All Saints Day is celebrated on November 1st in the Catholic Church and not November 2nd as suggested. I was brought up that November 1st was All Saints Day and November 2nd was All Souls Day (the second and third day of Hallowmas). November 1st is also consistent with the text under the heading "In the West":

The Catholic holiday of All Saints' Day falls on 1 November, followed by All Souls' Day on 2 November, and is a Holy Day of Obligation in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church.

There is another small point. The text under the picture in the customs section. The caption reads "All Saints' Day at a cemetery in Sanok - flowers and light candles to honour the memory of deceased relatives. Poland, 1 November 2011". I think what is meant is All Souls day because of the reference to "deceased relatives" (unless they were Saints of course). It has been remarked before that for those who are not brought up in this tradition, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between All Hallows and All Souls. Even the customs seem te differ locally. Because I am not an expert I will not change the article but I think it should be looked at because IMHO this is not factually correct.

JHvW 10:19, 17 November 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

All Saints Day didn't fall on Samain[edit]

In regard to "This fell on the Celtic holiday of Samhain, which had a theme similar to the Roman festival of Lemuria, but which was also a harvest festival. The Irish, having celebrated Samhain in the past, did not celebrate All Hallows Day on this 1 November date, as extant historical documents attest that the celebration in Ireland took place in the spring: "...the Felire of Oengus and the Martyrology of Tallaght prove that the early medieval churches [in Ireland] celebrated the feast of All Saints on April 20."[12]"

I have looked up Hutton's references and find nothing to support his suggestion. John Dowden's "The Church Year and Kalendar", 1910, makes no mention of the Irish Martyrologies. Thurston's and Attwater's edition of "Butler's Live of the Saints:, 1956, just mention that "... on April 20 a feast " of all the Saints of the whole of Europe ". As the Tallaght text phrases it, this day is the ' communis sollemnitas omnium sanctorum et virginum Hiberniae et Britanniae et totius Europae '".

No argument is presented for conclusion that "Felire of Oengus and the Martyrology of Tallaght prove that the early medieval churches [in Ireland] celebrated the feast of All Saints on April 20." spanish is a cool language.

So it is wrong to associate the new 'All Saints of all parts of the world' on November 1st with the Irish 'All Saints of Whole Europe' on April 20th.

For in the later ‘Martyrology of Oengus’,'All Saints of Whole Europe'remains, while 'All Saints of Africa' has been removed and 'Samain' used by the Irish as the name of the feast of All Saints of the whole of Europe' has been added. April 20th: Noeb n-Eorpa uile ("Saints of the whole of Europe") November 1st: Samain, which outside of Irish Literature for Samain is always . Within the literature it is the start of winter (identified by early non-Celtic Christians as November 1st) or once 'caisc na ngente'.

The 12th century Drummond Kalendar still has the celebration of 'All Saints of Europe' with the celebration of 'All Saints Days of all part of the world': April 20th: Romar, sollempnitas Omnium Sanctorum totius Europae. November 1st: Festivitas Omnium Sanctorum

"This fell on the Celtic holiday of Samhain, which had a theme similar to the Roman festival of Lemuria, but which was also a harvest festival. The Irish, having celebrated Samhain in the past, did not celebrate All Hallows Day on this 1 November date, as extant historical documents attest that the celebration in Ireland took place in the spring: "...the Felire of Oengus and the Martyrology of Tallaght prove that the early medieval churches [in Ireland] celebrated the feast of All Saints on April 20."[12]"

The statement then is false for justifying with the wrong All Saints day was on April 20th and so the entry in Felire Oengus of Samain is not a reference to ‘All Saints Day [of all parts of the world]’. Hutton is still correct that Fraser is wrong for the notion that the 'November' date was chosen because of 'Celtic' influences. He just needed a better argument. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:42, 1 December 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Missing picture?[edit]

Christ is enthroned in heaven surrounded by the ranks of angels and saints. At the bottom is Paradise with the bosom of Abraham (left), and the Good Thief (right).

Text box was f-up, seems like a picture is missing though? Maybe this text segment should go. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:55, 15 December 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

50 days?[edit]

In this "In the late spring, the Sunday following Pentecost Saturday (50 days after Easter)" the 50 days is confusing. Pentecost Sunday is 50 days after Easter, so Pentecost Saturday is 56 days after, and the Sunday following Pentecost Saturday is 57 days. What is meant? --Richardson mcphillips (talk) 02:48, 30 October 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

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Confusion over date and alternative names[edit]

Currently the article begins "All Saints Day, celebrated the day before and not to be confused with All Hallows' Day, Hallowmas, Feast of All Saints, or Solemnity of All Saints ...". Surely this is wrong. All Saints is the same as All Hallows. It is celebrated on 1 November, the day after All Hallows Eve (Halloween) and the day before All Souls day. See the Wikipedia disambiguation page for "All Hallows", which says that it is another name for All Saints Day, and the second paragraph of the article in which clearly treats All Saints and All Hallows as the same thing.

Maybe it should say ""All Saints Day, also known as All Hallows' Day, Hallowmas, Feast of All Saints, or Solemnity of All Saints, and celebrated the day before and not to be confused with All Souls Day, ...". (talk) 11:50, 31 October 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Confusing description[edit]

The second sentence of the article "Its intent is to celebrate all the saints, including those who are no longer celebrated, or are not celebrated individually, either..." is logically impossible, either a saint is or is not celebrated. Suggestion: "including those who are no longer celebrated individually, either...". Jumtist (talk) 19:10, 9 October 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks for hinting to that point. I tried to fix that to the "usual" definition and added a source.--Medusahead (talk) 10:51, 13 October 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Meaning of the term Saint[edit]

As the comment on this sailed away too early: [1] The explanation „whether they are known or unknown“ just correspondingly says that it could refer to any Christian who has been holy in his lifetime and is in the eternal joy with God, but we (here on earth) didn't know he or she was holy, but God knows. A saint is a saint whether canonised or not, and he or she can be anyone. In fact, anyone could desire to become a saint. --Medusahead (talk) 08:45, 1 November 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Featured picture scheduled for POTD[edit]

Hello! This is to let editors know that File:Celebración de Todos los Santos, cementerio de la Santa Cruz, Gniezno, Polonia, 2017-11-01, DD 07-09 HDR.jpg, a featured picture used in this article, has been selected as the English Wikipedia's picture of the day (POTD) for November 1, 2023. A preview of the POTD is displayed below and can be edited at Template:POTD/2023-11-01. For the greater benefit of readers, any potential improvements or maintenance that could benefit the quality of this article should be done before its scheduled appearance on the Main Page. If you have any concerns, please place a message at Wikipedia talk:Picture of the day. Thank you! --Ahecht (TALK
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Holy Cross Cemetery in Gniezno at dusk, with each grave decorated with flowers and several lit candles.

All Saints' Day, also known as All Hallows' Day, the Feast of All Saints, the Feast of All Hallows, the Solemnity of All Saints, and Hallowmas, is a Christian solemnity celebrated in honour of all the saints of the church, whether they are known or unknown. In the 9th century, some churches in the British Isles began holding the commemoration of all saints on 1 November, and in the 9th century this was extended to the whole Catholic church by Pope Gregory IV. In Western Christianity, it is still celebrated on 1 November by the Roman Catholic Church as well as many Protestant churches, as the Lutheran, Anglican, and Methodist traditions.

In Poland, it's known as Dzień Wszystkich Świętych, and is observed is a public and bank holiday. Celebrants tend to family graves and the surrounding graveyards, lighting candles and leaving flowers, as pictured here at the Holy Cross Cemetery in Gniezno.

Photograph credit: Diego Delso

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