All Saints’ Day in Colombia is widely celebrated on the Monday after November 1 to after to honor Christian saints. This year, it takes place on November 7. Also known as All Hallows’ Day, Solemnity of All Saints, Hallowmas, or the Feast of Saints, this holiday is one of six Holy Days of Obligation, meaning all observant Catholics must attend mass. In addition, many Protestant denominations observe All Saints’ Day following their traditions. Colombians typically place lit candles, flowers, and other decorations on the graves of dead loved ones, relatives, friends, or well-known saints.
History of All Saints Day (Colombia)
All Saints’ Day, also known as Feast of All Saints, is a religious public holiday celebrated by Christians on the Monday on or after November 1. In Colombia. All Saints’ Day dates back to a Greek Christian tradition from the fourth century. The first recorded All Saints’ Day was on 13 May 609 A.D., when Pope Boniface IV received Emperor Phocas’ gift of the Pantheon in Rome. The Pope declared the day a holiday in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary and all martyrs. During the reign of Pope Gregory III, the celebration was moved to November 1 and expanded to include the commemoration of all saints, including those whose sainthood is only known by God.
The holiday date might have been moved to replace Samhain, a pagan feast of the dead. It is said that evil spirits once prowled the countryside seeking humans the night before Samhain, causing people to dress as beasts to fool the spirits. The pagan account survived the Reformation, but Protestants associated it with All Souls’ Day, which falls on November 2. Although the church banned the holiday in 1770, several congregations still observe it on the first Sunday in November.
Catholics are urged to attend service on November 1. The feast is marked by reading the Beatitudes, eight blessings Jesus mentioned during the Sermon on the Mount documented in Matthew’s Gospel. In recent years, churches also began to honor people who died throughout the year, and the burning of candles on graves the evening before All Saints’ Eve became a tradition.
All Saints Day (Colombia) timeline
Spain invades Colombia.
Simón Bolívar overcomes the Spanish in Boyacá, and Ecuador, Panama, and Venezuela establish the Republic of Gran Colombia.
Gran Colombia disbands after Venezuela and Ecuador separate from the union, leaving current Colombia and Panama as New Granada.
The country promulgates a new constitution.
All Saints Day (Colombia) FAQs
How is All Saints’ Day celebrated in Colombia?
Colombians usually visit the graves of loved ones and offer candles, flowers, and more.
What is Colombia’s most celebrated holiday?
In Colombia, ‘Semana Santa,’ or Holy Week, is a significant holiday. The country also has numerous holidays commemorating key events in Colombian history.
What is Colombia famous for?
Colombia is famous for its food, coffee, and the friendliness of locals. Many tourists also visit the country to see its beautiful landscapes and rich history.
How to Observe All Saints Day (Colombia)
Spend time with family
Take advantage of the long weekend and see your friends and family. Spend the holiday with loved ones, and enjoy painting tombs and placing flowers on graves.
Light a candle
Join the celebration of the saints by burning candles and attending a church service. Take a moment to pray for their blessings.
Visit the cemetery
Go to the cemetery to honor your deceased loved ones. Bring their favorite foods and beverages and play their favorite songs.
5 Interesting Facts About Colombia
Its national sport is tejo
Tejo is a team sport involving metal discs with gunpowder that explode on impact.
It’s a biodiverse country
Colombia is the world’s second most biodiverse country behind Brazil, which is 10 times its size.
It has the most species
The country possesses the most species per area in the globe, with more bird species than Europe and North America combined.
It was named after an explorer
Colombia’s official name is the Republic of Colombia, derived from the surname of explorer Christopher Columbus.
It values nationalism
Every day at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., Colombian radio stations and public television must play the national anthem.
Why All Saints Day (Colombia) is Important
It honors saints
All Saints’ Day commemorates all Christian saints and martyrs. It acknowledges their faith and love for God.
It unites families
Many families gather from across the country to spend the long weekend together. They go to church and visit the graves of their loved ones.
It has a long history
All Saints’ Day dates back to 609 A.D. It also has roots in pagan traditions that make the day and its celebrations all the more interesting to learn about.
All Saints Day (Colombia) dates