Monthly Archives: October 2015


Halloween originated many, many years ago in Ireland, however, it only became popular once it reached the United States. In recent years the tradition has spread back to Europe, including Germany; this was sparked due to the increasing depictions of Halloween in Hollywood movies and on television and the presence of many American soldiers after World War II. Since the 1990s it has become such a popular holiday that it brings in over 200 million Euros in revenue each year, making it one of the most commercialised holidays in the country.

Halloween 1Süβes oder Saueres (sweet or sour)

Whilst trick or treating may be one of the most popular activities on Halloween in North America, it is the least popular Halloween-activity in Germany. You’ll most likely only see children roaming the streets for lollies in the large metropolitan areas and the occasional country town. Instead of saying ‘trick or treat’, children say ‘Süβes, sonst gibt’s Saures’, which essentially means the same thing – give us something sweet, or we’ll give you something sour (i.e. we’ll prank you!). The lack of popularity of trick or treating may be attributed to one of two things – firstly, children participate in St. Martinstag just 11 days after Halloween, where they roam the streets with lanterns, sing songs, and receive baked goods. Secondly, many older generations are not aware of – or do not participate in the trend of Halloween and do not appreciate children knocking on their doors and are particularly unhappy when children (try to) trick them.


Halloween costumes are becoming increasingly popular in German costume shops. However, one interesting difference between German costumes and those generally found in North America (and Australia!) is that Germans attempt to dress up a lot scarier, even the kids. One reason for this might be that there are ample opportunities to dress up in Germany shortly after Halloween – for Karneval. Thus, dressing up is not the novelty of the holiday, but rather, it is the scary costumes.

Halloween 3Parties

Whilst trick or treating may not be as popular as in other countries, Germans love their Halloween parties. Throughout the week leading up to Halloween and on the day itself every city will host many Halloween-themed parties and particularly students will host large Halloween parties or Halloween-themed Roomathons (several students decorate their apartments and provide food and drinks and the party moves from apartment to apartment throughout the night).

ca. 1995, Shreveport, Louisiana, USA --- Skeletons sits at a dining room table during a Halloween party at the home of William Joyce, well-known children's writer and illustrator. --- Image by © Philip Gould/CORBIS

Haunted Castle

The oldest Halloween event in Germany takes place in Darmstadt’s Burg Frankenstein. The castle is over 1,000 years old and visitors are able to wander through the ruins whilst actors and actresses dressed as ghosts, ghouls, ghosts and even Frankenstein’s monster himself wander around, the lights flicker and an eerie soundtrack makes the castle’s ruins feel like a truly haunted house. The highlights of the event are the many interactive shows – ranging from children’s shows on the family day to terrifying shows on other days!

Halloween 5

Happy Halloween!!!

Fun fact: The 31st of October is also the date of another German holiday: Reformationstag. The Reformationstag is a celebration of the reformation of the church, particularly for Lutherans, and is a public holiday in the states of Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia.

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Fun Food Facts from the Oktoberfest Brisbane 2014

It would be hard to pin-point our favourite thing about the Oktoberfest Brisbane – singing and dancing along to the Fliegerlied, attempting to yodel or cuddling with the baby farm animals – but one of our favourite things would have to be trying all of the delicious food! Whether it be the savoury sausages, Schnitzel-burgers and pork knuckles, or the sweet gingerbread hearts and fairy floss – we love it all! Here are a few fun facts about the amount of food the festival goers devoured at last year’s event:

Sausages25,794 Sausages savoured

13,500 Pretzels eaten (including 3,500 Giant Pretzels!)

6,145 Lebkuchenherzen (gingerbread hearts) treasured

3,760 Pork knuckles devoured – a staggering 3.5 tonnes!

Lebkuchen2,500 Schnitzel burgers sizzled and munched

950 kg Potatoes – baked and spiralled into amazing Kartoffel-Creations

750 mighty Oktoberfest burgers mastered by only the bravest

400 pieces of pork belly in paprika-kraut enjoyed

Brezel350 Tyrolean speck dumplings scrumptiously tasted

231 ‘Bavarian Brettl’ VIP table platters prepared

1st pork knuckle of the festival, the ‘Pork Knuckle of Destiny’ auctioned for $10,000 – all for Brisbane charity, Youngcare

Pork Knuckle of Destiny

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