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What is All Saints’ Day and why do Greeks celebrate it today?

Person holding a candle on All Saints' Day

All Saints’ Day brings people together to remember lost loved ones (Image: Getty)

All Saints’ Day, also known as All Saints’ Day, is a religious occasion marked by Christians around the world.

Churches and religious groups generally celebrate All Saints’ Day on November 1, the day after Hallowe’en.

However, like Easter, the day is celebrated on a different day in Greece and other countries of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

So why is this?

What is All Saints’ Day?

All Saints’ Day is a date dedicated to remembering the saints of Christian history.

The idea is that there is a spiritual connection between those in heaven and those on earth, and that it is important to honor those who have died.

Many placing flowers on the grave on All Saints' Day

All Saints’ Day sees many place flowers on the graves of their loved ones (Image: Getty)

The exact origin of the day cannot be traced with certainty, but it appears to have arisen when the Roman Empire was persecuting Christians.

So many martyrs died for their faith that Pope Boniface IV set aside a special day to honor them.

Although the date was originally reserved for saints, many today also commemorate deceased family and friends.

The day is also recognized by many other names, including All Saints’ Day, the Feast of All Saints, the Feast of All Saints, and the Solemnity of All Saints.

Why do the Greeks celebrate All Saints’ Day today?§

Churches usually celebrate All Saints’ Day on November 1, the day after Halloween.

In most Western countries, it takes place the day before All Souls’ Day, also known as All Souls’ Day, and is a time of prayer and remembrance for all who have died.

However, in Greece and in Eastern Catholicism, they mark the occasion on the first Sunday after Pentecost. In 2022, that is today, June 12.

Pentecost is a Christian holiday that is celebrated on the seventh Sunday after Easter and is about honoring the descent of the Holy Spirit on the disciples of Jesus after his Ascension.

How is All Saints’ Day celebrated?

Christians commemorate the day by lighting candles and going to church to remember the saints.

Woman putting flowers on family grave

Mexico throws big celebrations on All Saints’ Day and the Day of the Dead (Image: Getty)

In some places, people will bring flowers to cemeteries and clean the graves of their loved ones.

Families will also gather and eat traditional meals together.

In some countries, the celebrations are a national holiday.

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