Why Do We Celebrate All Saints' Day?

All Saints' Day

Everybody knows Halloween. Some of us remember some elderly grade school teacher who insisted that it be spelled Hallowe’en – since it’s a contraction of All Hallows’ Eve.

So, what is “All Hallows?”

It’s the old-timey name for All Saints Day, November 1.

In the early days, Christians had to meet secretly and developed traditions of honoring the anniversary of local martyrs’ deaths. However, during the terrible days of persecution under such emperors as Nero and Diocletian, the number of martyrs became so great that a separate day could not be assigned to each.

So, one day was established to remember them all. On the first recorded All Saints' Day, St. Basil of Caesarea in 397 A.D. invited all the Christians of the province of Pontus for a feast honoring the fallen.

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