All Souls' Day in Western Christianity Date in the current year: November 2, 2016

All Souls' Day in Western Christianity All Souls' Day, also known as Feast of All Souls, is a day of prayer for the departed. It is celebrated the next day after All Saints' Day each year. In Western Christianity the celebration is held on November 2.

The official name of the celebration in the liturgical books of the Western Catholic Church is the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed. The date of November 2 was chosen by Saint Odilo of Cluny for all the monasteries dependent on the Cluny Abbey. Later, other Benedictine monasteries followed suit.

Eventually, November 2 became the official day of prayer for the dead in the Western Church in general. However, the date of All Souls' Day may be transferred if November 2 falls on Sunday. In many Protestant denominations, All Souls' Day has merged with All Saints' Day. In Mexico, it is the second day of the holiday known as the Day of the Dead.

Feast of All Souls is a day of prayer for all the dead. But most people focus on praying for and remembering deceased relatives. They go to the cemeteries, clean their relatives' tombs and bring flowers to decorate the graves. In some countries it is customary to leave food on the graves.

In some countries, All Souls' Day is a public holiday instead of or along with All Saints' Day.

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Public Holidays


Poland, Angola, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, East Timor, Guyana, Guam, Haiti, Macau, Nicaragua, San Marino, Uruguay, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Mexico


All Souls' Day in Western Christianity, Feast of All Souls, religious holiday, public holiday, prayer for the dead