All Saints Day was established by the Eastern Church in the 4th century, and it is still celebrated on the first Sunday after Pentecost. In the 7th century, Pope Boniface IV transferred the martyrs‘ bones to the Roman Pantheon. It was originally celebrated on May 13.

According to ethnologist Margita Jágerová from the University of Constantine the Philosopher in Nitra, the spring date was related to the arrival of birds, nature’s seasonal reawakening, and the idea that the souls of the dead returning to the living as birds on this important date. Feasts and then offerings were made by graves. Pope Gregor IV in 835 then moved this occasion to  1 November.

It was generally established as church-wide holy day only after the Council of Trident in 1549. All Saints Day is followed by the Memorial of the Dead – popularly called ‘Dušičky’. This was introduced by St. Abbot Odilo of Cluny in 998 and accepted in Rome in the 14th century. Protestant churches do not recognize the cult of saints or All Saint Day. Church calendars, however, include the Memorial of the Dead, but for Protestants one of the most important holidays is October 31 – the Reformation in 1517.

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