All Saints’ Day is a holiday in French Polynesia every 1 November. On this day, Christian believers remember known and unknown saints of past centuries. All Saints’ Day is a significant occasion on the traditional Christian calendar, and is observed by millions of Christians around the world.
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While over half the residents of French Polynesia are Protestant, most of whom do not traditionally observe All Saints’ Day, about 30 percent are Roman Catholic. The relatively large Catholic minority plus the fact of French administration account for the status of All Saints’ Day here as a public holiday.
The main events on All Saints’ Day in French Polynesia are fairly simple. Many attend a special church or mass service. Most families buy flowers, which are sold all along the roadways, with which to decorate the tombs of loved ones. Gravestones are often whitewashed on this day as well.
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