All Souls Day

Continuing on with the widespread holidays today is All Souls Day in a variety of places, including:

  • Brazil
  • El Salvador
  • Haiti
  • Mexico
  • Saint Lucia
  • Uruguay

All Souls’ Day (Commemoratio omnium fidelium defunctorum), also called Defuncts’ Day in Mexico, is the day set apart in the Roman Catholic Church for the commemoration of the faithful departed. The celebration is based on the doctrine that the souls of the faithful which at death have not been cleansed from venial sins, or have not atoned for past transgressions, cannot attain the beatific vision, and that they may be helped to do so by prayer and by the sacrifice of the mass.

Certain popular beliefs connected with All Souls’ Day are of pagan origin and immemorial antiquity. Thus the dead are believed by the peasantry of many Catholic countries to return to their former homes on All Souls’ Night and partake of the food of the living. In Tyrol, cakes are left for them on the table and the room kept warm for their comfort. In Brittany, people flock to the cemeteries at nightfall to kneel bare-headed at the graves of their loved ones, and to toll the hollow of the tombstone with holy water or to pour libations of milk on it, and at bedtime the supper is left on the table for the souls.

Source: Wikipedia