Germans have only been celebrating Halloween since 1991, according to Spiegel, but they decorate with pumpkins, attend costume parties, visit allegedly haunted locations and, to a lesser extent, trick-or-treat. German Halloween celebrations are heavily influenced by media portrayals of the American holiday.Continue Reading
About.com notes that Halloween costumes are so popular that more and more specialty stores are popping up in Germany. Germans frequently choose scary costumes to wear to Halloween parties. In metropolitan areas, children wear costumes to go trick-or-treating too.
In a departure from the American version of trick-or-treating, German children usually say "sweet or sour" instead of "trick-or-treat." However, Spiegel notes that in recent years, children have begun playing such "tricks" as throwing eggs at houses.
Halloween scares are another popular aspect of the German Halloween. According to About.com, one of Germany's largest and most popular Halloween venues is the Darmstadt castle ruins, also known as the Burg of Frankenstein.
Although the Retz, Austria, pumpkin festival isn't a German event, enthusiasm generated by the festival spills into Germany, where some residents carve pumpkins and display them on their doorsteps, according to About.com.
Spiegel reports that a YouGov poll found that 20 percent of Germans celebrate Halloween. Decried by some as an American encroachment on German culture, others take full advantage of the holiday's commercial aspects.Learn more about Cultures & Traditions
The modern tradition of passing out candy to trick-or-treaters on Halloween is likely based on the medieval custom of "souling" on All Souls' Day. Early Christians made currant-topped desserts called "soul cakes" to honor their dead on All Souls' Day, and children would walk from house to house singing for the cakes. The children agreed to pray for the dead relatives of each person that gave them a soul cake.Full Answer >
Some ideas for outdoor Halloween decorations are to make a "bonfire" out of pumpkins, porch pumpkins with Halloween quotes and light bright pumpkins. Another idea is to make skull lights with mason jars.Full Answer >
Many good Halloween snacks are simple, everyday snacks that are shaped to look like common Halloween themes like ghosts, pumpkins, spiders and cats. For example, sugar cookies shaped like cats and decorated with black icing make for an excellent party snack. Pumpkin cookies shaped like pumpkins give both the taste and look of Halloween. Meringue cookies lend themselves well to a ghost theme due to their bright white color and fluffy texture.Full Answer >
To make a superhero Halloween costume, make a symbol out of felt for the front of the costume, glue it into place, and make a cape out of shiny fabric. Modify an eye mask to make it look like a superhero's mask, and finish with leggings and a large belt.Full Answer >