In Germany there is a small number of people celebrating Halloween every year, but that number is increasing. Some students know Halloween only through school celebrations, television or neighboring Americans. This year there are more pumpkins and gourds for sale at the farmers' markets than ever before. Store ads are full of ghosts, witches, plastic Jack O Lanterns, etc. I have also had Pumpkin Strudel and Pumpkin Soup at local restaurants. Both were quite good!

As far as I know, it is not so much a fest for children here as it is a chance for restaurants and bars to have Halloween theme nights. Our American children go trick or treating on base, but the German children do not participate.

From an email:

On American military bases in Germany, it is quite common to see German kids trick-or-treating on Halloween! When there is free candy involved (even if it is American chocolate) the good news seems to have no trouble crossing the language barrier!

I noticed this for the first time when my Dad was stationed in Bamberg. The American housing area is open and accessable to everyone. I noticed that a couple of kids had costumes that were just a bit different. I couldn't quite put my finger on what was unusual, but I knew something was different... Then I heard them quietly speaking German and I knew what the deal was! Their bright costumes were more in the vein of Fasching than the "scarey" costumes that we Americans traditionally associate with Halloween. No matter. Judging by the size of their bulging trick-or-treat bags they seemed to be making out just fine!

Other German kids have told me that they've had Halloween parties at school but that they've never gone trick-or-treating.There are of course many other dress-up and get-candy days throughout the German Holiday Year - St. Martin's, Advent, Walpurgis, New Year's, Karneval-Mardi Gras, etc.

At Ludwigsburg near Stuttgart they are having a pumpkin festival: http://www.ludwigsburg.de There have been several shows on TV about growing pumpkins/gourds/squash.

1 Kilo Kürbis, geschaelt, entkernt und in Scheiben geschnitten, 2 Essloeffel Olivenoel, Salz, Pfeffer und 4 EL geriebener Parme- san-Kaese ergeben schon mal die klassche Kürbissuppe.

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