Why Do We Celebrate All Saints Day?

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All Saints' Day is a day in the United States that many churches use to honor and celebrate all of the saints. This day pays particular attention to the saints who do not already have their own special day. One example of a saint who has his own special day is St. Valentine, who is honored on Valentine's Day.

This day is not always referred to as All Saints' Day. Sometimes this day is referred to as All Hallows' Day or All Hallows' Tide. Some churches in the United States choose to celebrate this day on the first Sunday after Pentecost. Despite the wide array of people who celebrate All Saints' Day, it is not recognized as a federal holiday in the United States.

According to historians, the idea to hold an All Saints' Day is traced all the way back to the fourth century. It was during this time that Greek Christians held a festival on the first Sunday after Pentecost. This festival was held in celebration of the saints and martyrs. It was not until Pope Gregory IV that All Saints' Day became a church-authorized holiday. This happened in 837, and the idea to hold it on Nov. 1 was due to an attempt to take the place of the Festival of the Dead, which was a pagan festival.