Martes, 29 Octubre 2019 00:00



The Celtic sign "Triskelion" stands for Trinity (Birth, life and death)

The days count down and November 1st draws closer, children all over the world are looking forward to Halloween. It is the only night during a year, where children are allowed to knock on strangers' doors trick-or-treating. But what is the origin of this so well known and loved festival, and how is it celebrated by people of different ages and nationalities?

Halloween was first found in the Celtic culture, which celebrated their new year on November 1st. The previous evening (October 31st) they honored the end of the warm season and their successful harvest, and prepared for the beginning of winter, a period of time that was considered an indicator of disease and death due to rather poor medical conditions at that time, which the ghosts of the deceased, who were believed to rise with the beginning of the new year, were blamed for. As a consequence, the Celts celebrated the festival "Samhain", which included dressing up wearing scary masks and lighting up bonfires to repel the spirits and to save oneself from the consequences of the cold.

The Christians introduced a new festival in the 8th century, known as "All Saints Day", which took place on November 1st as well, and was used to honor the Saints and express gratitude for the delights of the past year, the two festivities started to blend, and later became our beloved festival, formerly known as "All Hallows Eve"

How is Halloween celebrated in Germany?

In Germany children celebrate Halloween by dressing up as something they consider scary, such as Dracula, a witch, or Fankenstein's monster, and by picking a poem for trick or treating. Orange colored pumpkins are optionally carved with a knife and Adults decorate their houses with plastic skeletons, false spider webs, or funny and spooky sound- and light effects. As soon as the autumn sun sets, children start to go from door to door, and present their little pieces of poetry to the people who open. They are then rewarded with all sorts of sweets, cookies, chocolate, or gummy bears and move to the next house or apartment to be handed more sweets.

Adults spend their Halloween with friends, also dressed up, waiting for the children to ring the door so they can empty the giant bowl of sweets wich are kept in the entrance of the house for this event. Once it gets too dark for children to trick or treat, the adults usually continue the evening by partying at their houses or at a club.

Carved pumpkins

Fun-Facts about Halloween

The tradition of carving pumpkins came from an old Irish folktale, about "StingyJack" who repeatedly tricked the devil and was forced to endlessly walk over the earth with nothing but but a carved pumpkin and some burning coal to light his way after his death.

Sweet shops sell more sweets on Halloween than on any other day, including Valentines Day and Christmas. The tradition of giving out sweets on Halloween formed quickly after the foundation of "All Saints Day" because the church asked wealthy families to give self-made "soul cakes" to beggars. Soul Cakes contained cinnamon, raisins, ginger and other spices.