All Saints’ Day is a celebration of all Christian saints, especially those who have no special feast days of their own. Many Roman Catholic, Anglican and Protestant churches celebrate this day, and Hungary is no exception.
All Saints’ Day is also known as All Hallows Tide, All-Hallomas, or All Hallows’ Day. It is a public holiday in Hungary. All Hallows’ Day is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed.
In countries such as Belgium, Hungary and Italy, people bring flowers to the graves of dead relatives and light candles. According to some sources, the idea for All Saints’ Day goes back to the 4th century. Then, the Greek Christians kept a festival on the first Sunday after Pentecost (in late May or early June) in honor of all martyrs and saints, TimeAndDate.com writes.
Other sources say that a commemoration of “All Martyrs” began as early as 270 CE but no specific month or date is recorded. Pope Gregory IV made All Saints’ Day an authorized holiday in 835 CE.
The day before All Saints’ Day is 31 October, which is Halloween in many places. Halloween is not a traditional Hungarian festivity, but it has been becoming quite popular recently. Check out our photo report on the Budapest Halloween Lantern Festival that was held last night on Heroes’ Square.
The day after All Saints’ Day is 2 November, which is All Souls’ Day or Day of The Dead. Even though these two days are separate holidays, the two are often mentioned together and most Hungarian people do not make a distinction. They are only mentioned separately in Christian circles, Expat Press writes.
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Source: TimeAndDate, ExpatPress, DNH
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