I woke up this morning to the sound of church bells ringing throughout my neighborhood. It's All Saints Day and, even though I saw some scary people in the metro last night, this holy day is celebrated in France far more than All Souls Day or Halloween. Offices, shops, and museums are closed, transportation is limited, and most people plan to spend the day with their family.
All Saints Day was instituted as a day of remembrance by Pope Gregory IV in 835 AD. Tradition calls for visiting the grave sites of deceased family members, leaving a bouquet of chrysanthemums, and then going to Mass to pray for their souls.