Though many saints in the Catholic Church have individual feast days, there are too many of them to honor individually. So November 1st was designated as All Saints Day to honor all of them. It is a holy day of obligation, which requires attendance at Mass. Many people like to celebrate the saints with a party at home or a more organized event at the church.
All Saints Day parties can feature children and adult guests dressed up as saints. Encourage children to research saints and choose one to represent. A child who loves animals may choose to dress in the friar's robes of St. Francis of Assisi, patron of animals. There are certain symbols associated with particular saints. For example, a studious young girl might choose St. Catherine of Alexandria, patron of scholars, and dress in a robe and carry a small wheel. St. Catherine's persecutors attempted to torture her on a wheel but it broke apart.
Put a Catholic spin on secular games for an All Saints Day party. Ideas include trivia games about the lives of saints, "Seven Deadly Sins" croquet with sins written on croquet balls, a cake walk using saints names or a St. Patrick bean bag toss, using bags with shamrocks on them. Or set up a St. Therese rose toss; have children toss silk roses through a child's basketball hoop. Divide children into teams and have a game of St. John Bosco's bowling, using a plastic bowling set.
Ideas for All Saints Day feasts include providing a range of different types of bread, signifying the body of Christ as well as the loaves of bread he used to feed the multitudes. Fish is another food item mentioned throughout the Bible and can be prepared numerous ways using a variety of different fish. Red punch and wine can be served signifying the blood of Christ as well as the water-into-wine miracle story. For dessert, include cupcakes featuring plastic cake toppers of saints.
Additional ideas for an All Saints Day party include a saints procession to the tune of "When the Saints Go Marching In," allowing everyone to enjoy each other's costumes. Story corners can be created using throw pillows and bean bag chairs where adults or older children can read stories of the saints to younger children. Children can also draw pictures of various saints or fill in coloring pages. Other activities include making saint crafts, such as puppets using printed images and Popsicle sticks. Children can also be given felt pieces to glue and shape into saint images.