Template:TransH Common commemorations by several churches of the deaths of martyrs began to be celebrated in the 4th century. The first trace of a general celebration is attested in Antioch on the Sunday after Pentecost. This custom is also referred to in the 74th homily of John Chrysostom (407) and is maintained to the present day in the Eastern Orthodox Church.
The origin of the festival of All Saints on November 1 is believed by many historians to have been scheduled to coincide with the ancient Celtic New Year's festival Samhain. Most historians trace the celebration of feast on this day to Pope Gregory III (reigned 731–741), who consecrated a chapel in St. Peter's for the relics "of the holy apostles and of all saints, martyrs and confessors, of all the just made perfect who are at rest throughout the world". The November festival of All Saints was already widely celebrated in the days of Charlemagne; it was made a day of obligation throughout the Frankish empire in 835, by a decree of Louis the Pious, issued "at the instance of Pope Gregory IV and with the assent of all the bishops," which confirmed its celebration on the 1st of November.
In Portugal, Spain and Mexico, ofrendas (offerings) are made on this day. In Spain, the play Don Juan Tenorio is traditionally performed every All Saints Day. In Portugal and France, people offer flowers to dead relatives. In Poland, the tradition on this day (and also on All Souls Day, known there as Zaduszki) is to light candles (znicze) and visit the graves of deceased relatives. In the Philippines, the day is spent visiting the graves of deceased relatives, where they offer prayers, lay flowers, and light candles, often in a picnic-like atmosphere. In English speaking countries, the festival is celebrated with the hymn "For All the Saints", set to music by Ralph Vaughan Williams.
The festival was retained after the Reformation in the calendar of the Church of England and in many Lutheran churches. In the Lutheran churches, such as the Church of Sweden, it assumes a role of general commemoration of the dead (similar to the All Souls commemoration in the Eastern Orthodox Church that takes place two Saturdays before the beginning of Lent). In the Swedish calendar, the observance takes place on the first Saturday of November. In many Lutheran Churches however, the festival has fallen into disuse.
- Saturnalia and Yule Christianized as Christmas
- the festival of Eostre, from whence Easter gets its English language name and many of its symbols