All Saints’ Eve

All Saints’ Eve (Alla helgons afton) in Sweden is observed on the evening of the day before All Saints’ Day (Alla helgons dag), which in Sweden typically falls on the first Saturday in November, during the period from October 31st to November 6th.

Celebrating All Saints’ Eve in Sweden

One of the central traditions of All Saints’ Eve in Sweden is visiting cemeteries. Families and individuals gather at graveyards to light candles and pay respects to their departed loved ones. The graves are adorned with candles, creating a beautiful and serene atmosphere.

All Saints’ Eve is a time for remembrance and reflection on the lives of deceased family members and friends. It’s a quiet and contemplative evening where people think about their loved ones who have passed away.

In addition to lighting candles, people often decorate graves with flowers, especially chrysanthemums. These floral arrangements symbolize remembrance and are commonly placed on graves.

Many churches in Sweden hold special services on All Saints’ Eve or on All Saints’ Day itself. These services include hymns, prayers, and readings that focus on the theme of remembering and honoring the departed.

While All Saints’ Eve is not primarily a culinary holiday, some families may gather for a meal or refreshments after visiting the cemetery. Traditional Swedish dishes, like coffee and baked goods, might be enjoyed.

In some areas, there may be community events or gatherings on All Saints’ Eve. These events can vary but often aim to foster a sense of togetherness and reflection among the local community.

All in all, All Saints’ Eve in Sweden is a solemn and contemplative occasion. It is less commercial and festive than Halloween, focusing instead on paying homage to deceased loved ones and connecting with one’s spiritual and cultural heritage.

It’s important to note that while there may be some variations in how All Saints’ Eve is observed in different regions of Sweden, the central theme of remembering and honoring the departed is a common thread throughout the country.

Where is it celebrated?
Sweden (De facto half holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
November 1 Friday
Next year (2025)
October 31 Friday
Last year (2023)
November 3 Friday