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All Saints Day

All Saints Day 2019 and 2020

Each 1 November is a public holiday in many cantons of Switzerland for the observance of All Saints Day. This is a time to honour all saints, especially those who don’t yet have their own special day.

YearDateDayHolidayCantons
20191 NovFriAll Saints' Day National except AR, BL, BS,
BE, GE, GR, NE, SH,
TG, VD & ZH
20201 NovSunAll Saints' Day National except AR, BL, BS,
BE, GE, GR, NE, SH,
TG, VD & ZH

This is a holiday celebrated by the Catholic Church, as well as by some Protestant Churches. It always falls on the first of November, regardless of the denomination. The day is to recognise and celebrate saints that have graced the world and is also a day to honour loved ones who have passed on.

The very first All Saints Day was celebrated in 609, in Rome under Pope Boniface IV. All Saints Day was made an official holiday in 837 by Pope Gregory IV. Some of the symbols associated with All Saints Day in Switzerland include symbols of individual saints, the crown, the hand of God or rayed Manus Dei, and a sheaf of wheat.

Each canton determines what closes during All Saints Day. There are some that have many businesses closed for the holiday and observance of saints and those who have passed away. Many people spend time in local cemeteries putting flowers on graves, or in church, lighting candles for those who have passed. Many of the Catholic churches have festivals or other activities going on to help commemorate the saints of the past.

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