Halloween in Germany – How Germans Celebrate it? [2024]

by | Life in Germany

Last Update: Feb 23, 2024 @ 11:55 pm

Home 9 Life in Germany 9 Halloween in Germany – How Germans Celebrate it? [2024]

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Whether you are German or American or belong to any other nation, you can celebrate Halloween as eagerly as Americans. This is not a traditional German celebration but an autumn event celebrated by many in different countries, as in Germany. If you are in Germany and want to celebrate this day, you must know how it is celebrated in Germany. So this article is for you to understand about Halloween celebrations in Germany. So, let us get started!

History of Halloween in Germany

Halloween is the festival of Samhain, considered the beginning of the winter. Halloween is celebrated between 31st October and 1st November. People believe that the veil between living and dead is the thinnest in this night and allows the supernatural beings and the souls of the dead to enter this world at night. The history of Halloween in Germany started in 1991. Carnival season was cancelled due to the outbreak of the second Gulf War. Dieter Tschorn, a public relations consultant for the German Toy Industry, claims to be the Father of German Halloween because of the financial constraints after the war. The toy industry was severely hurt during this period. After the shortage of revenues, he thought about ways to recover his loss, and he came up with the idea to bring Halloween to Germany in 1994 and spread this through a campaign. He announced Halloween in Germany in the German media through a press release on 4 September 1994.

Impact of Halloween on Germany's Economy

Germans were spending 30 million Euros annually on Halloween by 2009. With this boom, the German candy industry enjoyed benefits as the holiday became the third-largest after Christmas and Easter. It played a significant role in the German economy and culture. By 2019, Halloween brought up 320 million Euros in sales for retailers in Germany. If we compare with the sales in the United States, this 320 million Euros is just peanuts as the sales in the United States in 2019 were 8.8 billion dollars. Thanks to the one who introduced Halloween in Germany to save Germany's toy and costume industry and boosted the German candy industry, too.

Halloween – A Public Holiday

Halloween was a holiday in the 1990s, but it became famous after being imported from Ireland to America and exported back to Europe. Halloween stands out like many other public holidays in Germany, even if many do not celebrate it passionately. Only 18% of the German population celebrates Halloween in Germany. 31st October is already a public holiday as Reformation Day in Germany. It is a day to celebrate the reformation of the church in Germany. The day after Halloween, 1st November, is All Saints Day and a public holiday in Germany. A few people do not need an additional holiday in this period because of several other public holidays in November.

Halloween Day Celebrations in Germany

Halloween has become popular in recent decades and is liked by many youngsters in Germany. People who love celebrating Halloween in Germany throw themed parties and events across Germany. Also, German people have developed and designed their traditional customs and other stuff to celebrate Halloween in German style. Children in schools and kindergartens celebrate Halloween in schools by throwing small parties and gathering together with the class fellows to enjoy music, costumes, and snacks. Let us learn about the German style of Halloween.

The Halloween Costumes and Outfit

The Halloween look (costumes and outfits) differs from the look you used in your homeland. According to the study, only 8% of people in Germany love to buy Halloween stuff, decoration items, accessories, make-up, face masks, and Halloween costumes from different stores, supermarkets, and costume shops. If you check out the costumes used in the United States to celebrate Halloween, you will see no limit on what a person wants to wear to celebrate Halloween. You can wear anything you want to use as your Halloween costume. You can be a princess, clown, cowboy, dragon, or anything you want to be. People tend to make Halloween the scariest side of things in Germany. According to a survey conducted in 2017, only 32% of people were used to wearing special Halloween dresses during their Halloween celebrations. Only the younger generation, people between 18 and 29, was ready to dress up for Halloween.

The Halloween Pumpkin

Many countries have introduced pumpkins to celebrate Halloween perfectly. Many decorate pavements, houses, or apartments for beauty and grace at events and parties. You will see supermarkets with pumpkins and other squashes from the start of autumn. Other than Pumpkins, you will find jack-o’-lantern decorations across Germany.

Trick or Treat

Going around the houses (trick or treat) is uncommon in Germany. German people call it Süßes oder Saures, which means sweet or sour. Another German term is used as Süßes sonst gibt’s Saures, which means give me sweets or there will be sour things. You will find children in Germany who wander from house to house. They ask for the sweets in the most childish way. They go to the houses with Halloween decorations and keep the pumpkins outside their houses. Children believe that people living in houses decorated for Halloween will give away sweets and candies. They play pranks to enhance their enjoyment of Halloween.

Some people want children to avoid repeatedly visiting their houses and ringing the bell; they turn out the electricity lights so people do not disturb them during their private or celebration time. According to a survey in 2018, kids were very disappointed by the lack of candies they got during trick or treat. Only 50% of houses in Germany were open to give kids sweets on Halloween. The rest of the houses do not bother and turn their lights off during Halloween evening so kids do not disturb them.

Halloween Food

Well, here is what people like to have in food during their Halloween celebrations. In Germany, people usually eat buffets, snacks, pizza, cupcakes, and finger food. Trick or treat is less common in Germany than in the United States, but Halloween-themed events are liked by many people living in Germany. People look for new and great ideas to celebrate Halloween by Throwing fabulous parties for kids, family members, and friends. They offer themed snacks and other food items to excite their parties. Popular dishes for Halloween include pumpkin soup and spicy deviled eggs. Hot apple punch and cold blood bunch are the most popular drinks in Halloween celebrations. Other beverages include black currant juice and blood oranges.

Halloween Events and Festivals Across Germany?

No worries if you want to avoid throwing a Halloween party at home; there are a lot of Halloween events across Germany. Pumpkin festivals are widespread in Germany to celebrate Halloween. Cool and fantastic parties are thrown for older people in Germany. People throw parties at local clubs and bars. These festivals are organized between September and November. Some of them are enlisted here;

  • Halloween Europapark
  • Ball Bizarre in Dresden
  • Halloween at Legoland
  • Pumpkin Halloween Festivals
  • Mayen Market – Festival of Magic
  • Halloween at Burg Frankenstein
  • Halloween in Berlin
  • Halloween Horror Festival at Movie Park Germany
  • Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival

For your better understanding, let us discuss each of the mentioned Halloween events or festivals.

Halloween Europapark

Europapark is the biggest amusement park in Germany. The management organizes different events from October to November to celebrate Halloween fantastically. They divide the park into different country-based themes and decorate the complete park with Halloween decorations, including squashes and pumpkins everywhere. The park is decorated with the goblin loose, eerie sceneries, and vampires.

Halloween in Euopa Park

Ball Bizarre in Dresden

Ball Bizarre is a club in Dresden, Germany. Walking through the “path of death”, people can reach the club entrance. This path is underground and horror, which gives the smell of Halloween during Halloween-themed parties at Ball Bizarre Club.

ball baizarr halloween in Germany

Halloween at Legoland

If you are a family with some little toes, Halloween at Legoland is the perfect place to celebrate Halloween with your family. People with newborns and little kids love to go out and spend money on decorations and celebrations. You and your little ones will find thrills, cute, scary, and funny activities at Legoland in Germany. There are thousands of pumpkin decorations and treasure hunts to make kids happy. Children wearing unique Halloween costumes get a free admission ticket to the park on 31 October. You can also find some fun activities for your kids in your city.

halloween in legoland

Pumpkin Halloween Festivals

People celebrate Halloween through the pumpkin festival in different locations across Germany from September to November. You can go to the annual pumpkin festivals to celebrate your Halloween. These festivals contain pumpkin decorations, Halloween parades, themed events, custom parties, and fun activities. A pumpkin carving contest is organised for kids and adults in late October. These Halloween festivals are to celebrate Halloween and Fall or Autumn's arrival.

Halloween in Berlin

Berlin is Germany's capital city, offering great parties and themed events to celebrate 31 October. If you are in Berlin, you must check for the horror events at the Berlin Dungeon. If you are fond of horror movies and horror activities but living in another city in Germany, you must visit Berlin to experience Halloween fun in Berlin. You will enjoy your upcoming Halloween in Berlin. In Berlin, you will find many locations where Halloween parties are organised. These places include Haus Ungarn, Club Ost, Ava Club, Kulturbrauerei, and Bebo Bar. 

Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival

This festival is to celebrate Autumn in Germany, and you can relate it to Halloween because of the pumpkins used in this festival. You will have much fun at this festival if you want winter squashes and many pumpkin-related activities. This is one of the world’s largest pumpkin exhibitions held near Stuttgart. You will find many magical displays, seasonal foods, and pumpkin carvings here. This exhibition starts in late August and attracts an audience and visitors till December. In this exhibition, you will find around 200,000 visitors on an annual basis every year.

ludwigsburg pumpkin festival

Halloween Horror Festival at Movie Park Germany

The Halloween horror festival is also organised at the movie park in Germany. The administration of the movie park in Germany changed the park theme during October and November and transformed it into the Halloween theme. They use a scary, terrifying, and horror setting with 250 zombies, ghouls, monsters, witches, mazes, beasts, and other nightmarish creatures. They have specially decorated rides for children, girls, and ride lovers. 

halloween at movie park GErmany

German’s Halloween vs. America’s Halloween Celebration

Halloween celebration in Germany is quite different compared to the Halloween celebration in the United States of America. Let us tell you the difference between the Halloween celebration in Germany and that of the United States.

Dressing Up on Halloween

In Germany, only a few people love to dress up and wear Halloween-specific costumes. No one wears such outfits, especially at work, but in the United States, people love to dress up, even for work or school. People in the United States wear happy, joyful, colourful, and funny costumes, but people in Germany wear scary Halloween costumes. Only ex-pats or international employees love to wear specific clothes. Still, if an organisation's international employee ratio is lower, they feel awkward wearing such dresses as no German wears them. If you love celebrating Halloween, it is always good not to expect your coworkers to join you in dressing up for Halloween.

Halloween for Adults and Kids

Halloween is a party celebration for adults in Germany, whereas adults in the United States celebrate it through parties, dresses, and exceptional Halloween food. Kids in the United States also like to celebrate Halloween to its fullest as they play trick or treat, whereas kids in Germany are less involved in going from door to door to play trick or treat. It is not very popular in Germany, and people turn their lights off to convey the message “do not disturb”. Trick or treat is trendy and common among kids in the United States.

Halloween Parties and Events

Germans have less number of parties and events compared to the United States. The trend is also increasing in Germany because of social media influencers. These influencers are making thousands of videos on how to throw a Halloween party, how to dress up for Halloween at the last moment, places to visit to buy Halloween costumes and much more.

Why is Halloween in Germany less Popular than in the United States of America?

According to a survey conducted in 2017, 65% of people in Germany believe that Halloween is just a celebration, not a German tradition. 48% of people over the age of 35 in Germany have a mindset that Halloween is imported from the United States, displacing German traditions, customs, and culture.

A group of Germans believe that Halloween Is crashing the German traditional celebration called St. Martin’s, in which kids walk on the streets, go door to door, ring the bell, sing the song, and expect sweets or candy. Kids are involved in the small parade in those days while holding small paper lanterns. This celebration starts two weeks after Halloween.

Some argue that Germany already has a tradition of carving and lighting a vegetable, the beet. So they do not need another tradition or holiday to celebrate, such as Halloween. Some people prefer to spend their money, energy, and time on other activities to celebrate the German holiday. Some believe that Halloween is very commercial to celebrate and has less or no. privacy.

Final Thoughts

Whether you want to stay home for a movie night or go out with friends or family to enjoy Halloween at some public place, the choice is all yours! You can choose a spot for trick or treat, go for a dance party at a club, or throw your party; you can do whatever you want. Here are a lot of suggestions in this article, and we hope you will find it unique and enjoy your upcoming Halloween perfectly. If you're going to enjoy your Halloween in Germany, make sure to wear a scary costume. This tradition is a trick to grab a beer even if you do not celebrate Halloween. Get a beer this Halloween and enjoy your day.

Enjoy the Spooky Halloween season in Germany!


Feature Image by Freepik

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