Saturday, October 30, 2010


The History of Halloween

    • Halloween may not be a traditional German celebration, but almost every German child knows all about it.
    • It is also very popular with adults
    • Over the last decade or so Halloween has become increasingly popular in Europe, and particularly in Germany.
    • It is now common to see pumpkin (der Kürbis) and jack-o’lantern (die Kürbislanterne) decorations in Austria and Germany by mid-October.

The Appeal of Halloween

    • Probably as a result of the long post-war presence of Americans in Germany, and Halloween depictions in Hollywood movies and on television, Halloween has become a popular celebration in German-speaking Europe.
    • It’s an American holiday imported from Ireland and now exported back to Europe.
    • The Mardi Gras / Fasching / Karneval aspects of Halloween also have a special appeal to Europeans.
    • In medieval English, All Saints Day was called All Hallows.
    • All Hallows Eve (Oct 31) came to be called “Halloween”

The Business of Halloween

    • Only in certain regions or neighborhoods do German youngsters actually go trick-or-treating.
    • But while trick-or-treating may be rare, Halloween has become a very “cool” party theme for young and old.
    • A web search in German turns up many German-language Halloween sites — many of them for party outfitters.
      • More and more German department stores carry Halloween-related items in October.
      • Hamburg’s House of Horror specialty store, which opened for business in 1996, does a brisk business around Halloween.

The Pumpkin Festival in Retz

    • Around Halloween, the Austrian town of Retz, not far from Vienna, holds an annual Kürbisfest (pumpkin festival), complete with pumpkins, parties, and a Halloween-Umzug (Halloween parade).
    • The region around Retz has also become known for its annual pumpkin harvest. Known as Bluza in the regional dialect, the pumpkin becomes the centerpiece of ein Fest für die ganze Familie, a festival for the entire family.

Halloween in Berlin

    • In Berlin and other big German cities, Halloween has become an excuse for all sorts of parties and even marketing events.
      • In 2008 Berlin’s Legoland Discovery Centre decided to stretch out the Halloween celebration for six weeks!
    • In the two weeks before Halloween, Berlin school children get out for “fall vacation” and there are all sorts of parties and excursions built around and leading up to Halloween.
    • There are also horror films on TV and in in movie theaters
      • A live production of the cult classic Rocky Horror Picture Show opens at a Berlin theater on October 31 (in English with German narration) before going on to other German-speaking cities.
    • There is at least one direct German-American Halloween connection.
    • Following the American Civil War, Gustav and Albert Goelitz traveled to Illinois to join an uncle who had emigrated in 1834.
    • After Gustav’s death, his two eldest sons revived the candy business that he and Albert had founded.
    • The story goes that the Goelitz Confectionery Co. invented the popular Halloween confection known as Candy Corn in the 1880s.
    • Records indicate that Goelitz was making candy corn by 1900.
    • Today Goelitz, Inc. of Fairfield, California, is best known as the maker of Jelly Belly jelly bean candy.

The Candy Corn Connection

Gibt es im Herbst deutsche Feiertage?

Ja, bestimmt!


    • Often celebrated on the first Sunday in October
      • usually also the first Sunday following Michaelstag or Michaelmas (29 Sept.)
      • This puts the Germanic thanksgiving closer to Canada's Thanksgiving holiday in early October
    • A typical Erntedankfest celebration is an all-day affair
      • Usually begins with a church service in the morning followed by a procession/parade, a meal, another church service at night and sometimes even another parade and fireworks.
    • The traditional food is goose.
    • Erntedankfest is not a 2-day holiday with family get-togethers and feasting like it is in the USA.
    • While Thanksgiving is the start of the holiday shopping season in the USA, the unofficial date in Germany is Sankt Martinstag am 11.November.
      • This used to signify the 40 days of fasting before Christmas
      • Nowadays the first Advent Sunday at the beginning of December signals the the time to begin the Weihnachtsmärkte, or famous German Christmas Markets, and the beginning of the Holiday Season.

    (am 11. November)

  • The Catholic Martinstag (Martinmas) is celebrated in Austria, Germany and parts of Switzerland
  • According to legend, St. Martin cut his red cloak in half to share with a beggar during a snowstorm. This is the inspiration behind our winter clothing drive at OKTOBERFEST. (It's still not too late to contribute.)
  • Children take part in an evening procession, sometimes led by a rider on a white horse, emulating St. Martin and his red cloak. They wear costumes and carry paper lanterns that they’ve made in school.
  • The lantern procession often ends with a Martinsfeuer (bonfire). Others go door-to-door collecting coins for the needy (and recently the trend has been to offer candy rewards for such good deeds along with the coins).
Hier, ein paar



    • Kommt mit uns, wir laden euch ein
    • Kinder hören wir unheimlich gern schrei'n
    • Hier bei uns wird nur geschrie'n
    • Fliehen wir nach Halloween
    • Hier in Halloween, Hier in Halloween
    • Kürbis kreischt um die Mitternacht
    • Hier in Halloween
    • Spiele jedem, der's verdient Schabernack
    • Und dann fallen sie tot um vor Schreck
    • Halloween
    • Hier wird nur geschrie'n
    • Jeder hier liebt Halloween


    • Ich bin das Monster unter deinem Bett
    • Augen rot, die Zähne gefletscht
    • Unter der Treppe, da mach ich mich rar
    • Finger wie Schlangen
    • Und Spinnen in den Haaren
    • Hier in Halloween, hier in Halloween,
    • Halloween, Halloween, Haloween, Halloween


    • Jetzt geht's rund, wie man sieht
    • Jedermann singt unser Kürbislied.
    • Jetzt geht's rund
    • Heut' ist Halloween.
    • Jedermann erwartet neuen Schabernack.
    • Um die Ecke
    • Da steckt einer im Mülleimer
    • Jemand lauert und er stürzt sich gleich auf ...... Dich!
    • Hier in Halloween!


    Rot und Schwarz

    • Schleimig grün
    • Hast du Angst?
    • Au, das ist fein
    • Sag es laut
    • Sag's nochmal
    • Roll die Würfel
    • Triff die Wahl
    • Reizet den Mond um die Mitternacht
    • Hier wird nur geschrie'n
    • Hier wird nur geschrie'n
    • Nur bei uns in Halloween


    • Ich bin der Clown mit dem Abreiß-Gesicht
    • Schwupps, ist es da und auf einmal nicht
    • Ich bin der 'Wer'
    • Wenn du rufst 'Wer da?'
    • Ich bin der Wind
    • Weh durch dein Haar
    • Ich bin der Schatten
    • Der den Mond bedeckt
    • Schlafe nicht ein
    • Sonst wirst du erschreckt
    • Hier in Halloween, Hier in Halloween,
    • Halloween, Halloween, Halloween, Halloween!

    • Leichen pflastern unseren Weg

    • Schrecken ist hier Privileg
    • Ob in Wien oder in Berlin
    • Nichts ist schöner als Halloween
    • Jetzt geht's rund
    • Heut ist Halloween
    • Jedermann erwartet neuen Schabernack
    • Skellington Jack, der König bringt dich um vor Schreck
    • Springt er ins Genick
    • Und dann hörst du ihn schrei'n:
    • Hier in Halloween


    • Hier wird nur geschrie'n
    • Bitte macht jetzt Platz für 'nen wirklich feinen Kerl
    • Unser Jack ist König der Kürbisse
    • Jedermann grüßt unser'n Kürbisskönig
    • Hier in Halloween Hier in Halloween
    • Halloween Halloween Hal oween Halloween
    • Jetzt geht's rund, wie man sieht
    • Jedermann singt unser Kürbisslied
    • Lalalalalalalalala alalalalalalalalalaWhee
Vielen Dank, Frau Emily Walton!


  1. I wish that Halloween would last for six weeks like it did for the Lego company. It also seems weird that such big celebrations would be held in a country were Halloween is not celebrated.

  2. Wow I wish I were in Germany during Halloween. This year my costume was a lederhosen.

  3. It is cool to know that Germans have Halloween celebrations that are different than our idea of Halloween.

  4. It seems like Halloween is more thought out and a lot cooler in Germany. Here, it's pretty much based around candy.

  5. Wow, this is interesting. It is cool how they celebrate Halloween over a longer period of time (and how they have all those cool events!) instead of just a few hours on October 31st like America does.