While this celebration of all things ghoulish and creepy isn’t celebrated on such a grand scale as it is in the United States, Halloween has become increasingly popular in Germany over the past decades. German children have discovered the delights of dressing up in funny or spooky costumes to practice the fun tradition of trick-or-treating. They yell “Süßes, oder es gibt saures!” which means, loosely translated, “Sweets or there’ll be something sour.” Same concept. Same consequences!
Prior the 1990s, Halloween was not commonly observed in Germany. The fright fest with Celtic roots was a uniquely American party. Then in 1991, when Karneval festivities in February were abruptly canceled due to the start of the first Gulf war, the producers of costumes, candies and toys had to think of other opportunities to sell their wares to the party-minded folks. Halloween in October was a perfect opportunity and the ghoulish celebration is now (almost) as popular as Oktoberfest, especially among the party circuits in clubs and discos.
While too old to trick or treat, the adolescent crowd likes to throw Halloween parties similar to those in the US. Popular beverages that are served on Halloween are hot apple punch and cold “blood punch” made out of grape juice, rum and lemon juice served in a carved out pumpkin. Like many other countries around the world, Germans have their own special Halloween snacks and dishes for example spicy deviled eggs or pumpkin soup.