Home Vancouver Monthly Calendar OCTOBER Events in Vancouver in 2022 Vancouver Halloween Events Night for All Souls at Vancouver’s Mountain View Cemetery

Night for All Souls at Vancouver’s Mountain View Cemetery

Night for All Souls

A Night for All Souls is a free event about honouring the dead in October on the weekend before Halloween at Vancouver’s Mountain View Cemetery.

It’s one of Vancouver’s more serious and solemn Halloween events, but also interesting for people of all ages and backgrounds.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, no scheduled programming took place at Mountain View Cemetery in October of 2020. The events returned in a hybrid format in 2021 and are happening both in-person and online again in 2022.

 

Lost Souls of Gastown Tours at Halloween

 

A Night for All Souls at Halloween

In years when there isn’t a pandemic, Vancouver’s Night for All Souls is actually the opening night of a festival featuring a week of events about death, memorials and paying respect to the dead.

The series of events starts in the last week of October and ends on November 1st, which, according to many Christian denominations, is All Hallows’ Day, or All Saints Day, which is a time to honour long departed saints. In 2022 the event starts on October 26th and ends on November 1st. There are things to do online and in-person this year.

“Halloween” means “All Hallow’s Eve,” which is why it comes one day before November 1st (just like Christmas Eve comes before December 25th).

Halloween is also believed to originate from Celtic harvest festivals and to have pagan routes. All of this is usually evident at Vancouver’s Night for All Souls.

 

All Souls Night Tents and Silhouettes
Mountain View Cemetery at Night

 

When and Where

A Night for All Souls takes place around Mountain View Cemetery which is located at 5455 Fraser Street and bordered by Fraser, 41st Avenue, 31st Avenue and Prince Edward Street. It’s a pretty big cemetery!

In years before COVID-19, there was a large opening ceremony on the first day of the event. Tea and personal memorials usually took place at the cemetery in the Celebration Hall every evening. On some of these evenings there used to be live background music and on the last day, there was a procession to various shrines within the cemetery.

Unfortunately, no in-person activities took place in 2020 because of concerns about the coronavirus. In 2021, the event returned in a hybrid format, and the same is happening again in 2022.

Things to do in-person this year include visiting shrines between October 26th and November 1st, along with getting memorial box lantern kits between October 20th and November 1st. There will likely be live music on select days as well.

In addition to the in-person activities, there is one main online activity available in 2022. An online mourners tee takes place in late October. The virtual event is free to attend.

For more details about all the various activities, click All Souls Events.

 

Choir at Mountain View Cemetery

 

About A Night for All Souls

Unfortunately, the main Night for All Souls hasn’t happened since 2019. It is unlikely to return in future years.

In years when it did happen, the main Night for All Souls event on the Saturday before Halloween featured music, candles, tea, flowers, poetry and memorial shrines. According to the event’s website, it was a “non-denominational sacred event, and an opportunity for people to share their own customs and experiences.”

The event used to be sponsored by the City of Vancouver. It was free to attend and all were welcome.

At the event you would have seen a fair number of people plus candles flickering in the darkness, illuminated shrines and musicians playing contemplative music. It wasn’t a huge event, but several hundred people typically attended.

Curated by artists Paula Jardine and Marina Szijarto, the series of events developed out of the organizers’ work together with Public Dreams which is the same organization that puts on the Parade of Lost Souls which is also Halloween-related and usually takes place on the Saturday closest to October 31st.

 

Mountain View Cemetery Shrine

 

Tips and Advice

Below are some tips and suggestions to help you make the most out of your Night for All Souls experience.

TIP #1: The Saturday evening used to be an interesting event and we recommend going if it ever returns. It wasn’t for everyone, but it was suitable for folk of all ages.

TIP #2: A Night for All souls is similar to the Parade of Lost Souls which is also artistic and with a slightly Celtic flavour. The former is more solemn and serious. The latter attracts a primarily young-adult crowd, people in costumes and is more about fun and reveling in the Halloween season.

TIP #3: Don’t forget to take your umbrella if it looks like rain (which it usually does in Vancouver in late October). Boots or other waterproof footwear might be a good idea too if there’s a chance of puddles on the pathways.

 

Crafts and Tea in the Celebration Hall
People doing crafts in the Celebration Hall

 

Other Information

For further details about the event see the Night for All Souls website.

For information about other Halloween-related activities check out any of the following: