Skip to main content

All Souls’ Day

  • 72 Accesses

Definition

All Souls’ Day (November 2) – known as Día de los Fieles Defuntos (Day of the Faithful Departed), Día de Ánimas (Day of the Souls), and Día de Los Finados or Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) in Spanish-speaking Latin America and Dia dos Fiéis Defuntos (Day of the Faithful Departed) or Dia de Finados (Day of the Dead) in Brazil – is an originally Roman Catholic holiday designated for commemoration of the dead. Recognized throughout Latin America, observation of the day can range from festive (seen in Mexico’s famous celebrations) to somber and subdued (such as in Brazil).

The choice of November 2, the day after All Saints’ Day, is commonly attributed to St. Odilo of Cluny, who likely instituted the tradition sometime between 1024 and 1033. Cluny was sufficiently prestigious that the tradition quickly spread throughout France, Germany, England, and Italy “All Souls’ Day” in New Catholic Encylopedia (Schmitt 1998). While All Souls’ Day likely preceded the widespread...

Keywords

  • Catholicism
  • Souls
  • Death
  • Popular religion
  • Popular Catholicism
  • Syncretism
  • Purgatory

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  • Schmitt (1998) “All Souls’ Day” New Catholic encylopedia, vol 1, 2nd edn. Gale, Detroit

    Google Scholar 

  • Ariès P (1991) The hour of our death: the classic history of Western attitudes toward death over the last one thousand years. Vintage Books, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • LeGoff J (1984) The birth of purgatory. University of Chicago Press, Chicago

    Google Scholar 

  • Lomnitz C (2005) Death and the idea of Mexico. Zone Books, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Oliveira P (2011) “Pequenos Santos”: uma devoção familiar. PLURA, Revista de Estudos de Religião 2:80–100

    Google Scholar 

  • Schmitt J-C (1998) Ghosts in the middle ages: The living and the dead in Medieval Society. University of Chicago Press, Chicago

    Google Scholar 

  • Vilenha M (2012) Salvação Solidária: O culto às almas à luz da teologia das religiões. Paulinas, São Paulo

    Google Scholar 

  • von Tschudi JJ (1847) Travels in Peru, vol 1. Wiley & Putnam, New York

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Michael Amoruso .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2016 Springer International Publishing Switzerland

About this entry

Cite this entry

Amoruso, M. (2016). All Souls’ Day. In: Gooren, H. (eds) Encyclopedia of Latin American Religions. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-08956-0_180-1

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-08956-0_180-1

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-319-08956-0

  • eBook Packages: Springer Reference Religion and PhilosophyReference Module Humanities and Social Sciences