1st November - All Hallows' Day, All Saints Day.

Written by Anne Newman 17th November 2019 - additions 2023

The second of three days to remember the ancestors.

All Hallows, aka Hallomas or All Saints day, is the day the church set aside to remember all the saints, known and unknown. It also remembers all those who have died and gone to heaven.

The Irish Martyrology of Aengus (828-833) has a feast for All Saints on 1st November.

The feast became known in England and Ireland as All Hallows, from which we get Hallowe’en, ie. the evening before All Hallows.

This feast took on some of the characteristics of the Celtic Féile na Samhna - Samhain which celebrated the third harvest and the time of remembering the ancestors

All Hallows was made a Holy Day of Obligation by Pope Gregory IV in the 9th century.

I have memories of going to mass and hearing the long litanies of the Saints being recited.

November 1st is also the day when many people gave up the drink and the cigarettes and offered them up for the souls in Purgatory. My father used to give up cigarettes twice a year, for the month of November and for the duration of lent.


In Guatemala, All Saints' Day is a national holiday. On that day Guatemalans make a special meal called fiambre which is made of cold meats and vegetables; it is customary to visit cemeteries and to leave some of the fiambre for their dead.

It is also customary to fly kites to help unite the dead with the living. There are festivals in towns like Santiago Sacatepéquez and Sumpango, where giant colorful kites are flown. Wiki - All Saints Day


Stockholm, Forest graveyard (Skogskyrkogården).

Since the 1800’s Swedes have, during this weekend, made pilgrimage to graveyards up and down the country to decorate the graves with candle light.

In fact, all over Europe, in France, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, and Austria, people clean their deceased loved ones graves and freshen them with bouquets of flowers, wreaths, and the aroma of burning candles fills the air.


A new tradition Movember is an annual event involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of men's health issues, such as anxiety, prostate cancer, testicular cancer and men's suicide.

It began in Adelaide, Australia in 2003 when a group of young men coined the term "Movember" and the idea of growing moustaches for charity throughout the month of November. The idea spread worldwide and began in Ireland in 2008.

Happy New Year and all Hail to the Ancestors

The 1st November is the first day of the ancient New Year and the start of the Celtic dark half of the year. So Happy New Year and all Hail to the Ancestors, who prepared the way for us and gave us strong deep roots. May we make the right choices for our descendants as we become their Ancestors.


Anne is sharing a series of events throughout the year - you can find them listed by clicking to the link Feast Days & Festivals