31 October 2014

Just had two slightly bewildered kids at our door, calling out trick or treat (süsses oder saures, in German). Where did that come from? Too much internet is my guess.

This is probably one of the last countries on the planet where Halloween (and St. Patrick's Day) are not yet celebrated. But the pagans who once lived here did what good pagans all over the world do to channel their fear of dark nights. While the Celts in Ireland carved turnips into lanterns to scare off the dead souls and the Irish who had emigrated to America replaced the turnips with pumpkins, the local traditions and rituals here - which also go back to the dark ages - include bonfires and lanterns. But the mighty rule of the catholic church made it into a feast day for St. Martin whereby singing children carry cute lanterns and after marching through the neighbourhood after dark watch a man on a horse dressed as a saint from the Middle Ages jump over the dying embers.

Or something like that. This went totally past me when I was a kid. I think it was not invented by then or maybe my childhood Germany was not catholic enough. 

I do have hazy memories of searching the shops for the stupid lantern handle when S was making her obligatory specimen in school. That was a major hassle, that and getting the right kind of waxed paper. I was always too late.

Today, for a short moment R didn't even realise the novelty at our door step and over dinner, he remembered his own childhood Halloweens (plural?) in Dublin. 

But seriously, had Jesus not slain the giant pumpkin, none of us would be here today. Right?

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much, Sabine. I wish you could hear my delighted laughter that came deep from my heart when you became serious at the end of your post!

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