I have always loved the thought of Halloween. I think the first time I read about it was in the "Mary Poppins" books (that I still love today, that I have in English and German and that I have read probably 100 times).
But Halloween is not a German holiday. It comes from the Celts then living in Ireland, the United Kingdom and Northern France.
In Germany we didn't use pumpkins to scare the ghosts away, but turnips. In some areas people try to revive this old tradition, especially because they find that Halloween that slowly started to conquer Germany as well has become too much of a business. They might be right about that, but I still love it.
I remember my first real Halloween. There used to be an Army post in my hometown and as a teenager I was member of a German-American club called Kontakt. On Halloween our plan was to volunteer taking a group of kids, so their parents could celebrate Halloween on their own. It didn't quite work that way. No kids showed up, so our coordinator decided that we'd walk the housing area on our own, joining in the fun. I remember at least three of us wearing costumes. Kathy was a slick vampire in a suit, her hair combed back with gel, she looked great. Bob wore a Superman outfit, but with an "SK" on his chest for "Super Kontakt"!
And I had been dressed up by my sister as the Bride of Frankenstein. I wore sheets for a tunic, she had put bandages around my arms, put white make-up on my face and red lipstick. Then she backcombed my hair, all the way - I even had long hair then - until it stood up as if I had been electrocuted. (It was such a pain getting the tangles back out the next day!).
We headed for housing. People, believe me, I had so much fun!
I couldn't believe what lengths people had gone to to make this a great Halloween. I remember the big cauldron filled with sweets done in one basement. You walked through all those fake (? ;-)) cobwebs and were greeted by a truly hideous witch cackling in your face.
Or the guy who dragged me onto his lap, crying out "Darling, you DID come back from the dead!" *lol*
We had so much fun that we decided to go out for Chinese food. Remember, this was 1982 or 1983, with no Halloween action throughout the town. I have to say they took it pretty cool when we walked in there in our costumes. A few people got up from their tables, though, to ask us if we came from a masquerade ball and our vampire explained Halloween to them.
Oh dear, the old lady and her memories again, eh? ;-)
There will be more ..... so live in fear, mwahahahaaaaa!