The celebration of All Saints’ Day
One of the oldest and most famous Italian celebrations is the one called All Saints’ Day. In fact, in Italy, it is celebrated every year on the first day of November All Saints’ Day. It is a holiday that is both civil and religious. Italian Traditions will guide you on the discovery of this celebration that takes place every year at the beginning of November. Here we will explain what it consists of and tell you about its origin. We will also explain what the celebrations consist of and how it is celebrated in Italy.La festa di Ognissanti?
What is All Saints day?
All Saints’ Day is a Christian holiday in which the honor and glory of all the saints, canonized or not, is celebrated. It is also considered the name sake day for all those people whose name does not appear in the calendar. It takes place on November 1st of each year and is characterized by the celebration of a mass in the cemeteries of all the Italian cities. The Catholic religion believes that on this day the faithful must honor the saints in heaven and invoke their patronage
The origins of this celebration
The origin of this celebration is very old. The commemoration of the martyrs, common to many churches, began in the fourth century. The first testimony of a general celebration was witnessed in Antioch on the Sunday after Pentecost. It also dates back to the Celtic civilization whose tradition divided the solar year into two different periods. The first was that of the birth and the luxuriance of nature while the second is when this growth slows down.
The holiday was initially celebrated on May 13th which coincided with the Roman feast dedicated to Sanctae Mariae ad Martyres. This is the anniversary of the transformation of the Pantheon into a church that took place in 610 by Pope Boniface IV. Two centuries later it was established by Pope Gregory VI on the first day of November to celebrate this day. This is to make it coincide with the old Celtic festival of the new year, the Samhain.
In 1457 it was then made mandatory throughout the universal church by Pope Sixtus IV to celebrate the union between the glorious church and the still suffering church. The first of June 1949 Ognissanti was recognized by the constitution as an official Italian holiday.
All Saints’ Day between the sacred and the profane
This celebration is linked to the one participated on the preceding day (and especially night) in the Anglo-Saxon countries. This is in fact Halloween which means the eve of the feast of all saints, some aspects of which have gathered wide acceptance also in Italy. This is true especially among children who knock on the doors of neighbors’ houses asking the classic question: trick or treat? In recent years it has turned into something like carnival. In fact, even adults dress up on this occasion as monsters or witches.
How to celebrate in Italy
During the All Saints Day in Italy people used to go to cemeteries to visit their dear ones who had passed away. In fact, on this day Masses are celebrated in these places. After the visit and the mass it is customary to meet for lunch with the family. On this occasion traditional recipes are prepared that differ from region to region.
In Italy there are some holidays that are recognized by the constitution and which also have a religious significance. One of these is the All Saints’ Day in which these significant characters are celebrated for the Christian church. If you want to discover other Italian holidays we recommend reading this article too