All saints day
All Saints’ Day is a day of dignity. The custom of lighting candles on the graves of our relatives is still strong and those who travel through Sweden this weekend meet a beautiful sight.
If you are lucky, the first snow cover of the year is already over the cemetery entrance. The pale flames of the hundreds of grave candles form beautiful patterns in the snow and create a dense atmosphere in the landscape. It is also common to lay flowers and wreaths at the graves on this day. A pot of flowering heather stays nice even in the cold.
In southern Sweden, outdoor work is being completed and in the north, All Saints’ Day is considered as the first winter day of the year. Many churches are organizing concerts this weekend.
From the year 731, November 1 was celebrated in memory of all the saints of the Church who did not have their own days. From the 11th century, the common dead were dedicated on November 2 and were called the Day of All Souls. The day had a strong foothold among the people with bell ringing and masses, this was abolished with the reformation. In 1772, All Saints’ Day was moved to the first Sunday in November and in 1953 to Saturday between October 31 and November 6. November 1 retained the name All Saints’ Day.
Grave decoration earlier took place at Christmas time, when small Christmas trees were lit on children’s graves. During the 20th century, candles were lit on the graves of the deceased on All Saints’ Day. It was first common among the possessed and in the cities. After the Second World War, the custom grew strong and people also began to celebrate light masses in the churches.