Why is November 1st a public holiday in France? Origin and story of All Saints Day

Published by Caroline J. · Published on 25 October 2021 at 09h40
In France, like in many countries, November 1st is a public holiday. But what do you actually know about All Saints Day and do you know where it originates from? We tell you more about it.

Like August 15th, January 1st, November 1st is one of the eleven public holidays listed in the French Labor Code.
But why is All Saints Day a public holiday in France and what does this celebration mean?

November 1st is the Catholic celebration day of All Saints Day. Religious, this day is the occasion for Christians to celebrate all famous or little-known saints. “All Saints' Day observances tend to focus on known saints --that is those recognized in the canon of the saints by the Catholic Church.” Catholic.org says.

Like other Catholic celebrations, All Saints Day originates a long time ago. Yet, its origin is not found in Biblical texts. Instituted by the Church, All Saints Day used to celebrate all those who died as martyrs. Then, it extended to famous and unknown saints. In 610, Pope Boniface IV decides to implement a regular commemoration to saints on every May 13.

About a century later, November 1st is ultimately picked as the day to commemorate Saints. It is Pope Gregory III who makes the new date official. Around 835, Pope Gregory IV establishes the celebration in the whole world. All Saints Day definitively enters the list of the eight Christian celebrations in the 20th century, when Pope Pie X is running the pontifical power. It later becomes a public holiday.

Fun fact, All Saints Day has been temporarily abandoned during the French Revolution before being re-established in 1802 by Napoleon.

Although November 1st is not to be mistaken with November 2, honoring the dead, many French people – believes and atheists – go and put flowers on the graves of close people who have passed away.

Visuel Paris LouvreVisuel Paris LouvreVisuel Paris LouvreVisuel Paris Louvre Exhibitions, museums and monuments open on November 1, 2021 in Paris
Feel like visiting an exhibition this Monday November 1, 2021 in Paris? Here are museums and monuments in the city opening to the public on this public holiday: make the most of All Saints' Day to discover temporary exhibitions and Fall novelties. [Read more]

Les Centres Commerciaux ouverts le lundi de Pâques, 6 avril 2015Les Centres Commerciaux ouverts le lundi de Pâques, 6 avril 2015Les Centres Commerciaux ouverts le lundi de Pâques, 6 avril 2015Les Centres Commerciaux ouverts le lundi de Pâques, 6 avril 2015 Shopping malls opening time on November 1, 2021 in Paris and Île-de-France
This Monday November 1, 2021 is a public holiday… Since it is getting colder and bad weather is here, we feel like we need an excuse to go on a shopping spree, and even more since many shopping malls are open! [Read more]

Practical information

Dates and Opening Time
On 1 November 2020

×
    Comments
    Refine your search
    Refine your search
    Refine your search
    Refine your search