Posts Tagged ‘all saints day’


Friday, October 31st, 2014

DSC02484Today is All Saints Day and in Italy it is a big occasion. The day has been observed in the Catholic church since the first century and it has been a national holiday since 1949. Nov 1 sees families visiting churches and grave sites and the flower of choice is the mum.

We have driven by a couple cemeteries and florists have set up temporary stands to sell bouquets and potted plants of mums. The churches are filled with mums like we fill our churches with poinsettias at Christmas. It’s a big day!

Now tomorrow is All Souls Day. Whereas Protestants believe that all Christians are saints upon the acceptance of Christ, the Catholics believe it’s just for the dead. People in Italy, clean off the grave sites, frequently eat a meal at the cemetery or set a place setting for them at home. Some regions in Italy leave food and water out for the deceased to quench themselves and this is the time the dead have a yearly window to communicate with the living.

In a couple regions of Italy, the dead bring candy to the children as a way to stay linked with the younger generations.

I like that people take time to remember those who have passed away. Steve and I lit a candle last night at the cathedral and took time to remember and reflect our grandparents and parents.

But for me, Nov. 2 is about living cause it’s my BIRTHDAY!