Is Halloween Celebrated in Germany?

Halloween in Germany

Is Halloween Celebrated in Germany?

While Halloween has no roots in the German culture, over the years the country has embraced this spooky and exciting holiday and added their own spin to it. While it may not be a traditional German celebration, it is common to see pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns on door steps throughout Germany and Austria by mid-October.

In at least five of the sixteen German states, the day after Halloween is a public holiday. November 1st is All Saints Day, known as Allerheiligen in Germany and many schools and businesses are closed. This provides a great reason for many Germans to celebrate Halloween.

According to AllesGerman.com, a website that covers German lifestyle, food and culture, many different areas of Germany are borrowing some great American Halloween traditions and also creating quite a few of their own. Some of the Halloween festivals and celebrations throughout Germany and Austria today include:

Austria Pumpkin Festival

In October the Austrian town of Retz and neighboring communities, not far from Vienna, hold an annual pumpkin festival (known as Kürbisfest), complete with pumpkins, parties, and a Halloween parade.

Medieval Festivals

The town of Mayen, in the Eifel region, hosts a middle ages-style witches and magician fair celebrating all things wicked and spooky on the last weekend of October.

Halloween Parades

The city of Kaiserslautern hosts a Halloween parade and pumpkin spectacle. Prizes for best float and best costume are awarded at this family-friendly event.

Halloween Costumes

Costume and Halloween specialty stores are increasing in popularity throughout Germany. An interesting difference between Germany and America in regards to costumes is the fact that Germans seems to indulge in much scarier and macabre-themed costumes than their American counterparts. They even buy these types of costumes for their kids!

Halloween-Themed Parties

Besides house parties, many cities in Germany now feature organized costumed parties at hotels or nightclubs for adults. In the city of Düsseldorf there is a “Walking Dead Party” that takes place every year at a swanky, upscale hotel.

Haunted Houses

The oldest and most revered Halloween event in Germany takes place at Burg Frankenstein, a historic old castle near Darmstadt. It is the perfect location for a chilling Halloween event. Visitors are free to wander the ruins, while actors dressed as ghouls, ghosts and other gruesome creatures linger about making this location feel like a truly haunted house (or castle).

Trick-or Treating

Trick-or treating is one tradition that is not as widespread in Germany as it is in the United States. While there are some communities that take part in this activity – when knocking on doors, the German children instead say ““Süßes oder Saures” which translates to “sweet and sour”!

If you happen to be in the United States this Halloween season and perhaps in the eclectic village of down town Patchogue, stop into Bierhaus to celebrate. With an authentic Octoberfest menu, great German appetizers and some terrific German beers that are perfect for the fall, there’s so much to enjoy! Come into Bierhaus this Halloween and enjoy your favorite spirit!