All Saints’ Day is a holiday in Burundi every 1 November. On this day, Christian believers remember known and unknown saints of past centuries. All Saints’ Day is a significant occasion on the traditional Christian calendar, and is observed by millions of Christians around the world.
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Around two-thirds of Burundians are Roman Catholic, and most of the rest are Anglican or affiliated with another Protestant denomination. That means that the large majority of Burundi’s population celebrates All Saints’ Day, which is also a public holiday.
The first day of November has been a Catholic feast day for centuries, having been set aside as a day to honour Christian saints and martyrs who lacked their own separate feast day by Pope Gregory IV in A.D. 837. German, Belgian, and English influences ultimately brought these traditions to Burundi during the 1800’s and 1900’s.
Special church services are held on All Saints’ Day, during which the Beatitudes are traditionally read. Many also leave flowers on the graves of deceased relatives or light candles in their windows.