Tag Archives: Halloween

“Trick or Treat” or “Süßes, sonst gibt’s Saures”


Halloween, a German tradition made in the USA

Today is Halloween! A holiday unknown to Germans or at least not being celebrated in Germany until the 1990s. But this has changed!

Today it’s “Süsses oder Saures!” all over Germany – the phrase we know here in California as “Trick or Treat!”

In 2009 the holiday Halloween helped to drive sales up to almost 30 million Euros in Germany and in 2011 it’s believed to have generated sales already of 200 million Euros! Quite some increase, but still not comparable to the USA.

October 31 has actually been an important protestant church holiday in Germany, “Reformations-Tag”, remembering Martin Luther; but this day of contemplation and reflection, even thought still on the church calendar, had to make way for the ‘funner’ Halloween celebrations.

A specialized section within the toy industry, “”Fachgruppe Karneval im Deutschen Verband der Spielwarenindustrie (DVSI)” claims to have brought the tradition to Germany way back then in the 90’s. Since then it’s become an economic factor. What a clever act if you think that the official start for Carnival or “Fasching” is just around the corner, November 11, at 11:11 a.m.!

It seems that celebrating Halloween in Germany has moved that date to October 31 and that “Narrenzeit” is starting today!  Should I say, “Helau”…!?


Further Reads:





Image: Wikipedia



Enchanted Halloween and Lantern Parade for children in L.A.


Holiday celebrations are approaching slowly and we know that the year is coming to an end whether we like it or not.

The countdown starts out with the American celebration of Halloween on October 31, which is a much more fun way to start into November than the observation of our German holidays Allerseelen and Allerheiligen on November 1 and 2.

Shortly after, children in Germany are looking forward to celebrate Saint Martin’s Day. Highlight of that special day on November 11 is the traditional Lantern parade when kids present their often hand crafted lanterns to their friends while walking the neighborhood and singing lantern songs.

Tivoli Rainbow Garden Preschool in Los Angeles has these two events covered for you and your children.

If you are looking for some Halloween Party for your youngsters with a little German touch, then this might be for you.


Meet the Queen of Fairies in the Sparkling Garden of Lights and get enchanted with her magic!  All children ages one to seven are welcome. Come in your favorite costumes, but please no scary ones.

Please RSVP to TivoliRainbowGarden@gmail.com

WHEN: Sunday, October 26th at 6:45pm

WHERE:  Tivoli Rainbow Garden School , 3170 Stoner Ave, Mar Vista, CA 90066

LATERNENUMZUG – Lantern Parade in West L.A.

Walk your lantern with other children in West L.A. at the Tivoli Rainbow Garden Preschool!

WHEN:  Wednesday, 12. November 2014

WHERE:  Tivoli Rainbow Garden Preschool, 3170 Stoner Ave , Mar Vista, CA 90066

INFO:  http://www.tivolikindergartenla.com



Dia De Los Muertos

Old Town San Diego – Tour of over 40 Altars, Nov 1-2 , 2011 with a candlelight procession on Wednesday.

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HALLOWEEN – The Informal Start of Winter And The Holiday Season

Driving through the neighborhoods one can see ghouls and ghosts and pumpkins everywhere: Halloween! Kids are eagerly watching the neighbors’ decorations and are bound to top them with scarier stuff on their own front porch. Young & old seem to love Halloween, the dress-up parties and whatever else comes with it.

When I moved to California Halloween was a custom I knew of, but never had observed, since there was no such festivity in Germany at that time. Times have changed and I am witnessing my family and friends over there today engaging in Halloween parties, getting the kids ready for their Halloween trick or treat night as if they lived right next door to me! “Hey, that’s not fair” my little one exclaims. “They have Fasching twice!”

Not really but in essence true. But where does the Halloween custom come from and is there some correlation to our German Fasching? Wikipedia gives an in depth explanation on Halloween mentioning that the word Halloween came up the first time in the 16th century and represented a Scottish version of All-Hallows-Even (Hallow meaning in old English, Saints) and therefore was the night before All Saints Day, a holiday observed by most of the Western Christian world. People had the superstitious belief that during that time the dead could return to earth and according to the ancient Celtic ‘Samhain’ celebration, which influenced Halloween as well, spirits both harmless and harmful could pass through to the world. To ward of these spirits ancient Celts disguised themselves as harmful spirits themselves so they would not be harmed.

The tradition of kids going from door to door apparently stems from the medieval times “ when poor folk would go door to door on Hallowmas (November 1) receiving food in return for prayers for the dead on All Souls Day (November 2)” (Wikipedia)

Halloween seems to also mark a turning point where fall for sure turns into winter. The months for various festivities  have started and we are being reminded that the end of the year is near. Interesting also here the relation to the festival of Samhain that celebrates the end of the “lighter half” of the year and beginning of the “darker half”. It is in fact sometimes regarded as the “Celtic New Year” (Wikipedia).  The Romans had a festival ‘Feralia’ where the spirits of the dead were honored. Feralia though was celebrated in February, which brings us back to the German Fasching being related to Halloween after all. One memorable Weiberfastnacht’s event near Garmisch Partenkirchen in fact brings back images of horrible witches and other scary figures streaming through the villages. Isn’t that similar to what we will experience tomorrow night?

By the way, the official start of our German Fasching is also in November. To be exact November 11, at 11:11 am!