All Saints’ Day

The first day of November known as All Saint’s Day is a national holiday in many historically Catholic countries. In Croatia as well as in Austria, Catholic parts of Germany, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Sweden people do not carve pumpkins or wear ghostly costumes, instead they light candles on the graves of deceased relatives.

 

Hope to the world

Hope to the world

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72 thoughts on “All Saints’ Day

  1. We don’t celebrate Halloween in our family as well. And yes, today is a special day in the Catholic church all over the world. Our kids go to Catholic school and they dressed up as saints yesterday. My kids have the day off today. Happy All Saints Day!

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  2. I don’t like celebrating the absence of our loved ones but I enjoy the way they do celebrate and see it as an opportunity to have the family reunited over good memories, in Mexico for example. In France, we just cry and bring flowers at the cemetery, no candles, no celebrations, just sadness and this is not the way I want to remember the ones I loved who are now gone.
    Have a great day! Have great memories! Light candles and live a life they would be happy to see you live.
    Jul’

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    • 🙂 Thank you for sharing this with me Julie. I wasn’t sure how things were done in France, and now I know. Here it is not a happy celebration either. I like the fact that candles are lit. Light is power and hope. Merci ma chere.

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      • Happy I could enlighten you a little. I’m glad to be in the US right now and could enjoy some of the Halloween parties, because it’s much more fun! And in my heart, I’m in Mexico with my boyfriend and his family, sharing those moments of cooking and spending time together remembering other good times with those gone.
        A much lighter mood which suits me just fine. I don’t need a special day to remember and miss them.

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  3. Dear Paula,
    that’s a lovely and truly heartwarming photo. Halloween meands nothing to me. I live in the Rhine Valley in Germany, a catholic partof the countryand here we celebrate Allerheiligen today.
    I’m a non-believer, but back home in Norway I especially prefer to visit the churchyard in the afternoon on the 24th of December.
    It’s magic, it’s almost dark, so many visitors rushing around before the families meet at home to celebrate Xmas – all the lights burning, all the graves with fresh flowers and the same is on the National Day, the 17th of May.
    Best regards
    Dina xx

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    • Hello Dina, I am happy that you like the photo – it took some effort to shoot this one :). Thank you for telling me about your tradition 🙂 The Christmas Eve spirit should be preserved in spite of all the consumerism and marketing associated today with it. Lovely to read you. Keep well, dear. xx

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    • Friday is red wine day, right? I am glad you like my photo, Jo. I’ve just stopped by your blog to see your Barcelona intro. I loved it there, and you will too. Talk soon.

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  4. In Portugal, today is the first time that All Saints’ Day is not a public holiday. When it was a holiday, we used to put flowers and candles on the graves of our departed family members and friends and hear mass in the cemetery. This year this will happen on Sunday, but I’m living too far from my parents’ grave to join in. I’ll remember them from here.

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    • Dear Mara, I’ve just visited your blog on blogspot, and read the portuguese version, but I could not comment 😦 because I don’t have a blogspot account. I don’t know how you manage to comment on wordpress? Is there something I can do to be able to comment on blogspot without having to open my account there?

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  5. A beautiful and touching shot Paula, so different to all the pumpkins I keep seeing . . . Halloween will always be foreign to me with All Saints, followed by All Souls, praying for the souls in Purgatory. Actually, lots of praying and it was the American “trick or treat” which seemed so pagan!

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  6. Beautiful photo, Paula! Really fantastic! I really like this day as celebrated in Mexico and other countries; to remember our ancestors with celebration. I don’t enjoy so much the USA’s trick or treat stuff.

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    • 🙂 Thank you for your comment Angeline. It’s always interesting to see what others think about these celebrations. I would prefer to celebrate it as in Mexico much more than taking part in trick or treating 😉

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  7. We do celebrate that back in the Philippines but not here in Saudi Arabia. We could be deported right away because its against Islam. Nonetheless, we succumb because we do respect their beliefs. Yeah, I just miss “that”. Love the candle, Paula. It looks so alive and the instrumental song. So soothing to the ears but a bit creepy at some point. 😉

    Happy All Saints Day in Croatia!

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    • Thank you very much Sony 🙂 It is Cafe del Mar’s cover of Albinoni’s Adagio – I used to love this composition so much, but then they ruined it for me by playing it on TV whenever some important person passed on. Still, I consider it an extraordinary piece of classic music apt for commemorating the dead. I also found some bits in it that are uplifting and full of hope. Minorities should have right to celebrate and follow their tradition wherever they live. Happy All Saints Day, Sony 🙂 It is always nice to read you.

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        • Dear, dear Sony :), you have made me very happy with your comment. This is the first time I took a pic of a candle, and I am not even 70% happy about it. I had to borrow hubby’s 90mm lens to take it. Today or tomorrow I will try again, and if it works according to the one I had in my mind’s eye I will publish it again. I love photographing lights of any kind. If you look in my thursday’s special or in my side bar on the right you will see a widget of two circles. It is just a plain lamp – white ball with a multicoloured bulb in it and its reflection on a glass table. Photography offers so many possibilities.. I have many interests and hobbies but none of them keeps me as absorbed and relaxed as picture making 🙂 I am here if you need to discuss photography.

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    • Yes, I was afraid of that. Fashion against tradition. Klausbernd, you have no idea how much I appreciate your coming here on this day to share this with me. Big hugs, Paula

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      • Thank you very, very much 🙂 Uh, you make me blush …

        Yes, fashion against tradition – and I suppose it`s besides other factors mostly the TV which kills individual cultures. Kiddies see what going on in other countries and copy it and so we aiming to one international fashion without historical links.

        Big hugs back from North Norfolk – still quite traditional, but for long …
        Klausbernd

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  8. I agree with people…The candle pic is great…I think it is very difficult, you got all the different colours on the shot!!!!
    Here in Spain we do the same than you.,..But, step by step, the funny part of Halloween is leaking into us…Specially among children…This is more and more a globalized world, for the good and for the bad! 🙂

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    • Muchas gracias Ilargia 🙂 me doy cuenta que tendre que incluir Espana y Portugal en la lista de paises que celebran el dia de los todos los santos en mi texto. Te agradezco mucho de haberme contado esto 🙂

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  9. Hi Paula, this is a great shot and I know one that can be very difficult to get just the way you want. The soft texture & colour is great and I like that you have the flame exiting the top of the photo. I was not aware of the tradition behind All Saints Day so thank you for sharing.

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    • This is so appreciated Mark 🙂 Today I took a photo of a candle again that I will post before the year ends or maybe on the New Year’s Eve :D. It is much more interesting than this one 😉

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    • Thank you so much Colline. We are having a long weekend here and tonight I took pics of some more candles, and I am getting happier with the result ;). I usually light candles on the All Saints’ Day and keep them lit till my b-day the end of January 😀

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        • For cemetary there is a special kind of candles packed in plastic bottles that we use, but at home I light decorative candles, red and white. Red candles give a warmer light. It is my way of fighting seasonal blues. This year I bought a lot of small cherry-scented pink and red candles :), and I also have white ones with apple and cinnamon scent. I have always had a thing for candles 😉 Thank you for asking Colline. Do you use candles at your home?

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            • I think so too 🙂 During the war we used to light candles in windows to commemorate civilian victims. I did not see in other countries, but in mine you can often see at side of roads lit candles at the places where someone got killed in a car accident. Sometimes their relatives bring plastic flowers too. I don’t like or use plastic flowers not even dry ones, but I can see their point. As for candles I think that light has a special meaning, as it lights the way of the deceased to heaven or to a higher sphere they are supposed to reach.

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  10. Beautiful post. I also am a non-believer, but I was brought up in one of those countries 😉 that celebrates the Day of the Dead. Your post brought up memories of my childhood, when we’d go to the countryside, at the church, where all the people in the village came to light candles and give away food to to other people. This offering is something common in other religions as well, and it maintains that giving food and drinks away means that the dead will have food and drink in the other world.

    Thank you and Happy Sunday 🙂

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  11. A eye-catching photo – candles catches our eyes almost like a magnet – I think All Saint’s Day is an excellent day to stop and think of those we lost this past year – the widespread french way isn’t my cup of tea – the “self-promoting” and “hysterical” for my taste – I will remember them with pleasure and happiness, because of the fact that I was lucky enough to meet them… 🙂

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  12. I remember reading about all saints day at some point, but I’d completely forgotten all about it. Thanks for the reminder Paula. In Mexico it’s a huge event where they celebrate all saints day/the day of the dead.
    In Norway we don’t celebrate all saints day or Halloween, but the business community is eagerly doing their best to import Halloween and it seems like they’re succeeding. This year, for the first time ever, a small group of 3 kids showed up at our door asking for candy.

    Traditionally dressing up, going from door to door and getting candy from strangers, has been a part of the whole Yule/Midwinters Blot/Christmas celebrations: We call it “going Yule Goat” (å gå julebukk). The kids put on costumes, go from door to door and sing Christmas carols. As a reward they’ll get candy.

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    • Hello Max 🙂 I remember watching several documentaries about the Day of the Dead in Mexico 🙂 It is very colourful and entertaining. I am not surprised that Halloween is spreading all over Europe. So far no kiddies appeared here asking for candy. By the coast where I grew up (Dubrovnik – the most beautiful place in the Adriatic and wider) we had a beautiful tradition on Christmas Eve which is similar to the one you described, but it does not include costumes, just singing and wishing a merry Xmas. Here children put on costumes on Mardi Gras, the day before Ash Wednesday-the first day of Lent in Christian tradition – which is 40 days before Easter. They wear all sorts of costumes, not necessarily the scary ones. Nowdays parents just buy kids ready-made costumes of action heroes and such, but when I was a kid we used imagination – I used to pun on granny’s nightgowns and pretended to be a princess, and once I stuck wooden sticks in my braids to be pippi longstocking :D, and we were offered doughnuts – our variety of it – as it is traditional food on Mardi Gras. I hope I did not bore you with these details :D. I just wanted to tell when it is the proper time to wear costumes in my part of the world ;). Of course, I do put on my every day “don’t send everybody straight to hell” mask on my face every day when I clock in at the office 😉

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