Halloween in Germany

Sep 21st, 2007, 05:07 PM
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Halloween in Germany

Hi all,
I have an odd? question...Since we'll be in Germany (Bavaria) at this time, do the kids have the same or similar traditions we have (or had) regarding trick or treating, costumes, jack-o-lanterns, etc?

pja1 is offline  
Sep 21st, 2007, 05:15 PM
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I was there several years ago in late October and I saw no such thing. Here is a web page that might be of interest to you. It appears the Germans do not do Halloween as we know it, rather they honor the dead at that time of year:

P_M is offline  
Sep 21st, 2007, 06:35 PM
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The rest of the world is starting to get into Halloween, but trick or treating hasn't caught on yet. We have German friends that have a small child and I believe he wore a costume to school that day, but that is about it.
kelliebellie is offline  
Sep 21st, 2007, 11:48 PM
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It has. The disease seems to be contageous. In recent years some German kids have started to adopt Halloween traditions. Here (Karlsruhe, Baden-Württemberg) we see some groups of kids doing that "trick or treat" thingy in shops and at doorsteps. It's still new but it's spreading.
quokka is online now  
Sep 22nd, 2007, 07:49 AM
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I agree with quokka, haloween is definitely growing in popularity. It's the new & cool thing to do, just like using more english phrases into their conversation. Many of our german acquaintances are putting costumes on their kids. So you should bring the costumes for your kids.
DAX is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2007, 11:18 AM
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Here too they are trying to promote it . We have St Maarten on 11 November which is celebrated, mostly in the northern provinces. It is a cross between halloween and carol singing. The kids come round with home made lanterns and sing a special St Maarten song, and get given sweets or other goodies. No tricks involved thank goodness, no dressing up either - that is saved for Carnaval.
hetismij is offline  
Sep 24th, 2007, 12:40 PM
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Yes, there is some evidence of Halloween (jack-o-lanterns, trick-or-treating, etc.) catching on in Germany (I'm in Stuttgart). In fact someone down the street already has a jack-o-lantern on their front step and I'm sure more will show up throughout the month of October (they don't seem to save the pumpkins just for Halloween). But for a tourist traveling to Bavaria, I'm not sure what you are planning. Are you going to be in residential areas? Would you take your kids trick-or-treating in an unfamiliar neighborhood in a foreign country? I don't think you will see a whole lot of foreigners walking down the main street of a Bavarian town dressed in Halloween costumes and asking for candy.
hausfrau is offline  
Sep 24th, 2007, 03:20 PM
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No, of course we wouldn't "take your kids trick-or-treating in an unfamiliar neighborhood in a foreign country". My wife loves Halloween and going out with our nieces and seeing the kids in their costumes. Just wondering what it's like in Germany (Bavaria, Berchtesgaden area) at Halloween since we'll miss it at home. Thanks for all the responses!

pja1 is offline  
Sep 24th, 2007, 11:52 PM
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Paul, sorry if my comments sounded a little harsh. I can't speak specifically about Berchtesgaden, but in any event, you probably shouldn't get your hopes up about seeing a lot of kids dressed up for Halloween. At least don't plan a special night out on the town looking for them, as you'll likely be disappointed.
hausfrau is offline  
Sep 25th, 2007, 12:38 AM
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Unfortunately, Halloween is one of those British customs that has returned across the Atlantic in a bastardised form.
The real thing survived until recently in Scotland and the North of England with apple-ducking and eating treacle scones without using the hands. The apple-ducking washed off the treacle.
It was a matter of trick AND treat.
The children were given sweets in return for singing a song etc.
I can remember about 40 years ago having a group of children at the door actually soul-caking and singing the traditional song.
Halloween seemed to have died out completely in the South of England until it revived in the American form. This version now seems to have pretty well taken over the country with youngsters extorting sweets and money and frightening old people.
It's not too bad with small children, but it can get nasty when older children and teenagers get in on the act.
Josser is offline  
Sep 25th, 2007, 12:54 AM
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"Halloween is one of those British customs..."

I also believe that it was a strong tradition in Ireland, as well as northern England and Scotland.

(The dressing-up part was to confuse the malevolent spirits that were at large on Halloween, and the lanterns were to frighten them away from the house.)

I certainly used to go out guising when I was a kid in Scotland, not that long ago. We'd dress up, not necessarily as anything spooky or scary, and go from house to house performing a song, or telling jokes, or saying a poem. When I was 9 we went to live in the US for a few months, and happened to be there over Halloween. My brother and I went out trick-or-treating, and prepared a little poem to perform as we would in the UK (we didn't know then that American kids didn't do that). We got a great response! (and more sweets than the local kids!!)

I do prefer carving lanterns out of pumpkins rather than the traditional turnips (=swedes), though - much less work!! And they don't smell as awful when they are burning...
hanl is offline  
Sep 25th, 2007, 01:12 AM
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We used sugar-beet when I was a child.
We lived in the US for a couple of years and were there for Halloween.
My Scottish husband asked some visiting children to perform their trick and they were quite bemused.
I think that the American-style tricks might be a result of two British customs getting confused, Halloween and Mischief Night. I think that Mischief Night took place on November 4th.
Did you have it in Ireland?
Of course, when I was a child, the big thing was Guy Fawkes with everyone letting off fireworks in their own gardens and lighting their own bonfires.
I suspect that the small parties will return because health and safety scares are putting off local organisations from putting on displays.
MissPrism is offline  
Sep 25th, 2007, 01:32 AM
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Halloween never used to be known in France, and then in the late 90's became quite popular. We actually saw the manager of one of the large supermarket chains say that they saw it as a major money maker, bridging the gap between summer and Christmas.

SInce then, people seem to have caught on to how commercialized Halloween has become, and have turned away from it.

Never did see kids trick or treating, but they liked to dress up and have parties.
Carlux is offline  
Sep 25th, 2007, 02:39 AM
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Yes, Halloween came and went in France, like the hula hoop.
kerouac is online now  
Sep 25th, 2007, 04:04 AM
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If you are still in Bavaria on November 11th, you might see St Martin's Day parades
Vttraveler is offline  
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