Lake Como’s All Saints’ Day: origin and tradition of the celebration
All Saints’ Day falls each year on November 1st and its origins come from the ancient Celtic culture. Then transmitted for centuries with conflicting stories, today remains a celebration linked to the culture and to the Catholic religion. Among the various theories, however, the most credible is the one that talks about Celtic origin. The celtic tradition divided the calendar into two periods: a first one in which nature saw its rebirth, and a second one in which the same went into hibernation. The first day of the two periods was celebrated (maybe in May and mid Autumn). But this anniversary is intertwined with the traditions of the Roman people that the same historical period was celebrating a mid-autumn’s day with a very similar meaning: for them the party was in honor of Pomona, to thanks for the gifts received from the ground during the summer. When Caesar arrived to conquer Gaul the two parties merged in the same period untile they coincide on the same day between the night of October 31 and November 1. This day he took a new name, “Nos Galan-Gaeaf”, the night of the winter’s Kalends.
All Saints’ Day in Como: the origin between paganism and Christianity
When there was the affirmation of the Christian religion, this celebration took a new religious meaning: no more then a ‘simple’ pagan holiday, but the remembrance and commemoration of the beyond, of what happens after death, the eternal life. It is in the seventh century that Pope Boniface IV wanted to establish a religious holiday to honor all the saints, and to eliminate all forms of paganism instituted a day of religious celebration called ‘All Saints’. Certainly, it could not totally eliminate the pagan festival because people was attached to traditions and wouldn’t certainly appreciated, so he pointed as a day for religious celebration on 13th May.
What links All Saints’ Day to Halloween?
For two centuries, the All Saints’s commemoration has two celebrations: a pagan and a religious one in two separate days of the year. We must wait until 835 to see the merger of the two holidays. It was Pope Gregorio IV to match the two dates calling it definitively All Saints’ Day, which fell from that year on November 1st, the first day after the night of the winter Calends. Not even that was enough to eradicate the pagan cult and that’s why, again, the Church, founded in the tenth century, the day dedicated to the commemoration of the dead on November 2nd. In 1475 Sixtus IV made mandatory Saints Day throughout the Church, but as we all know in various forms and means the pagan worship survived to this day. It is especially in Anglo-Saxon countries that we find these traditions: Halloween actually means eve of All Saints day (All Hallows means All Saint day + eve). This explains the holiday as today is experienced especially by children: Halloween is not in fact a celebrations that belongs to our culture, but the charm of monstrous disguises and in that way exorcise the fear of witches, ghosts etc had in recent years have also in Italy a great success.
Como, the feast of All Saints and the true tradition…we are waiting for you!
At Hotel Posta we love our traditions and we like to live the All Saints’ Day as we have always lived. We host friends and travelers in our restaurant, happy to receive those who are fascinated by our region also in autumn, when nature gives us wonderful colors. On the weekends between 31st October and 1st November at our restaurant La Veranda Moltrasio continues the series ‘Larian autumn’s Gourmet’ (we talked about it last week, click here to read more) and we will be happy to provide you in addition to our menu a specialty: the great fried seafood.But there’s more!
Choose Lake Como for All Saints’s: a special offer for youOur offer is valid from October 29 to November 2 for a 2-night stay and includes:
- Welcome Drink
- Bed and Breakfast
- A dinner with seafood (considering that it’s the weekend with our sea’s menu)
You can get the whole package for only € 308.00 per room without lake view and € 328.00 for those who want a super romantic view on our Lake Como!
All Saints’ Holiday, an excellent opportunity to discover our region! I, Patricia and all Hotel Posta Moltrasio’s staff are waiting for you, as always with a smile!