All Saints Day on November 1 is a Roman Catholic festival that honors all saints, known and unknown.
All Saints Day
All Saints Day is part of Allhallowtide (All Saints Eve, All Saints Day, and All Souls Day). All Saints Day celebrations start on All Saints Eve (All Hallows Eve or Halloween).
Honoring the saints encourages us to live by example with love and integrity.
Many traditionally Catholic countries celebrate All Saints Day as a public holiday. These include:
Día de Muertos, Mexican Day of the Dead
In colonial Mexico, colonizer priests forced Indigenous peoples to abandon their own traditions in favor of the European All Saints Day and All Souls Day traditions. This evolved into the Day of the Dead celebration that is now loved around the world.
Samhain, the Celtic Festival of the Dead
European Halloween traditions are based on the Celtic festival Samhain which honors Saman, the lord of death on November 1.
Pope Gregory IV made All Saints Day an official holiday in 835. He may have done this to take over the Celtic holiday.
The interesting point is how universal is the human tradition of honoring deceased family members.