All Saints' day: Sinking of wreaths to commemorate drowning victims at Alberner Hafen port in Vienna.
All Saints' Day, November 1: Although the feast of the unknown saints is not a day of remembering the dead in the Roman Catholic church, All Saints' Day is (together with All Souls' Day, November 2) the preferred date for visiting cemeteries (decoration of graves, processions, blessings, prayers). Public forms of commemorating the dead include submerging wreaths for those who died by drowning. In earlier times, special bread rolls ("Gebildbrote") were distributed to children and the poor as representatives of the "Poor Souls" on both of these days. The tradition of "Krapfenschnappern" (an eastern Tyrolean regional custom in which people went from house to house asking for food on All Saints' Day, now a children's custom) was also linked to the beliefs centered around the "Poor Souls". Another custom, in which straw braids are thrown onto the roofs of houses of marriageable girls, formerly practiced by fraternities in the Weinviertel region, is now only found in rare cases, as its social and economic foundation has disappeared.
Further reading: H. Koren, Die Spende, 1954; E. Burgstaller, Das Allerseelenbrot, 1970; H. Fielhauer, Allerheiligenstriezel aus Stroh, 1969 (ÖWF scientific film); O. Bockhorn and L. Nopp, Krapfenschnappern, 1984 (ÖWF documentary film).