All Saints' Day


  1. a church festival celebrated November 1 in honor of all the saints; Allhallows.

All Saints' Day


  1. a Christian festival celebrated on Nov 1 to honour all the saints

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of All Saints' Day1

First recorded in 1570–80


Discover More

More About All Saints’ Day

What is All Saints’ Day?

All Saints’ Day is a Christian holiday in honor of all the Christian saints.

It originated as a holiday of the Catholic Church, but it is also observed by some other Christians.

The day after All Saints’ Day is All Souls’ Day, a Christian holiday of solemn prayer for all dead persons.

Older names for All Saints’ Day include Allhallows, Allhallowmas, and Hallowmas. The night before was known as Allhallows Eve, which is where the word Halloween comes from.

When is All Saints’ Day?

All Saints’ Day is always observed on November 1.

Where does All Saints’ Day come from?

The name All Saints’ Day has been used since at least the 1570s. Records of its earlier name, Allhallows, come from before 1000. Allhallows uses the obsolete noun hallow, meaning “holy person” or “saint.”

Like many Christian holidays, the observance of All Saints’ Day—and its date—are thought to have been influenced by preexisting religious traditions. Many historians believe that the observance of All Saints’ Day was situated on November 1 in Britain and Ireland to coincide with (or replace) the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, observed on or around November 1.

Under Christianity, some of the traditions of Samhain were incorporated into All Saints’ Day. Many of these customs were brought by immigrants to the US, where Halloween has been influenced by and has incorporated elements from several cultures. One cultural celebration with some notable parallels with Halloween is Día de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead), which coincides with All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day (likely due to the influence of Christian European colonizers and missionaries in Mexico and Latin America).

Did you know ... ?

What are some synonyms for All Saints’ Day?

What are some words that share a root or word element with All Saints’ Day

What are some words that often get used in discussing All Saints’ Day?

How is All Saints’ Day used in real life?

All Saints’ Day is primarily observed by Catholics, but it is also observed by some other branches of Christianity. Outside of Christianity, it is perhaps best known for its relation to Halloween.

Try using All Saints’ Day!

True or False?

Another word for All Saints’ Day is Allhallows.

Word of the Day


[flab-er-gast ]

Meaning and examples

Start each day with the Word of the Day in your inbox!

By clicking "Sign Up", you are accepting Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policies.