German Halloween Traditions – deutsche Halloweentraditionen

Though Halloween’s Celtic roots are geographically much closer to Germany, it is the American celebration of Halloween that Germans have adopted in recent years, no doubt popularized through mainstream TV and movies. It is therefore not surprising that the traditions are quite the same though not celebrated to the same extent in Germany as in the United States:

  • auf eine Halloweenparty gehen – going for a Halloween party
  • das Freudenfeuer/das Lagerfeuer – bonfire
  • der 31. Oktober – 31st October
  • einen Kürbis aushöhlen – carving a pumpkin
  • Geistergeschichten lesen/erzählen – reading/telling ghost stories
  • Horrorfilme anschauen – watching horror movies
  • sich verkleiden – wearing a costume
  • Süßes oder Saures – trick or treat

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German Halloween Costumes – deutsche Halloweenkostüme

Scary costumes prevail on Halloween and though trick or treating is not as common as in the United States, children in Germany love to dress up as their frightening best and then go to a Halloween party. Here’s what some of the most popular costumes are called in German:

  • der Geist – ghost
  • das Gespenst – phantom, ghost
  • die Hexe – witch
  • die Mumie – mummy
  • der Pirat – pirate
  • der Sensenmann – the Grim Reaper
  • das Skelett – skeleton
  • der Teufel – devil
  • der Vampir – vampire
  • der Werwolf – werewolf
  • der Zombi – zombie

Note how the definite article changes according to the gender of the character – witches and mummies are female, skeletons and phantoms are neuter and the rest of the characters mentioned above are male.

German Halloween Decorations –

Halloween Dekorationen auf Deutsch

What would Halloween been without all the goodies? Here are the most important decorations and Halloween accessories in German:

  • die Fledermaus– bat
  • der kandierte Apfel/Paradiesapfel – candy apple
  • der Kürbis – pumpkin
  • die Kürbislaterne – jack-o-lantern
  • orange und schwarz – orange and black
  • die schwarze Katze – black cat
  • die Spinne – spider
  • das Spukhaus – haunted house
  • die Süßigkeiten – candy
  • das unechte Blut – fake blood
  • die Vampirzähne – vampire teeth

Though Halloween in Germany is still more a fun activity for children, this American holiday has gained ground in recent years. Because of the common roots of the English and German language, many Halloween terms are actually similar, making this topic perfect for German beginners.
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Source: suite.io, quizlet.com, languagelearningbase