Halloween has been celebrated in Germany from the past 25 years. At Halloween, children running around decked out head to toe in elaborate costumes, desperately trying to collect the most possible candies with trick-or-treat, carving pumpkins, singing the monster mash and roasting pumpkin seeds are few traditions which Germans enjoy. But now the question arises from where these all traditions came from? Who invented Halloween? How do they trick-or-treat for Candy in Germany? How did it get started? And why do they carve pumpkins?
Origin of Halloween in Germany
Dieter Tschorn, a public relations consultant for the German Toy and Novelty Retailers Association, has named himself the father of German Halloween. When the German government canceled Fasching celebrations in 1991 due to the Golf War, Tschorn says he introduced Halloween to Germany to make up for lost sales among costumers and other retailers. “The industry was forced to find a way of making up the losses. Halloween was chosen,” he told Spiegel Online.
Who invented Halloween?
The Celtic individuals of France and the British of Isles started the tradition of Halloween approximately 2000 years back. On 31st October, the last day of summer is celebrated as the festival of Samhain, the lord of the dead and is believed that the spirits are let free on this day. The name Halloween is not original. It began with “All Hallow’s Evening”, at that point it came to be known as “All Hallow’s Even”, then “All Hallow’en” and lastly it got the name by which it is now basic Halloween. Some accepted that evil spirits overcome the earth on this day so they spruce up oddly with masks and outfits to cover their originality.
How do we trick-or-treat for candy in Germany?
Trick-or-treating is the facet of Halloween that is the least observed in Germany. Only in large, metropolitan cities of Germany will you see groups of children actually go door-to-door. They say, either “Süßes oder Saures” or “Süßes, sonst gibt’s Saures” as they collect treats from their neighbors.
This is partly because just eleven days later, children traditionally to go door-to-door on St. Martinstag with their lanterns. They sing a song and then they are rewarded with baked goods and sweets.
Where does the phrase trick-or-treat come from?
While some identify precursors to trick-or-treating in ancient Celtic customs, modern trick-or-treating is thought to be a custom borrowed from guising or mumming in England, Scotland, and Ireland. These involve dressing in outfits and singing a rhyme, doing sleight of hand, or recounting a story in return for a sweet.
Why do we carve pumpkins and the rise of the pumpkin in Germany?
During the time All Hallows’ Eve was coming to rise in Ireland and Scotland, the story of “Stingy Jack” circulated. As legend goes, Stingy Jack was not a nice guy. Due to his actions on Earth, he was not let into heaven or hell when he passed away. With nowhere to go, Jack scooped out the inside of a turnip and filled it with glowing coal, allowing him to roam around at night. Irish legend referred to him as “Jack of the Lantern”, or Jack O’Lantern!
The demand for pumpkins in Germany has grown significantly in recent years. The carving of pumpkins may date back to the jack-o’-lantern, and the long tradition of carving lanterns into these vegetables in Britain and Ireland. The increased production of pumpkins can be linked to the growing popularity of Halloween. The German city of Ludwigsburg hosts the largest pumpkin festival in the world.
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