A National Holiday
Today in many historically Catholic countries, All Saint’s Day is a national holiday.
In most Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries, All Saints Day is celebrated with great pageantry. In Mexico, it is also called the Day of the Innocents, honoring deceased children and infants, and kicks off the week-long celebration of the Day of the Dead.
In Lisbon, Portugal, children celebrate the Pão-por-Deus, and go door to door where they receive cakes, nuts and pomegranates – believed to be the basis of the trick-or-treating tradition in the U.S.
In Austria, Belgium, France, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Spain, and American cities such as New Orleans people take flowers to the graves of dead relatives.
In Poland, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Finland, Slovenia, Slovakia, Lithuania, Croatia, Austria, Romania, Moldova, Hungary and Catholic parts of Germany, the tradition is to light candles at those graves.
Photo by John Thaxter of preparations for All Saints' Day in a cemetery in rural Poland