At the end of October it'll be time for Halloween again - bringing with it witches, monsters and ghosts. But how is the annual fright fest celebrated in Germany? Test your knowledge now!
People who are easily scared by horror films shouldn’t be on their own during Halloween on October 31st as vampires, monsters and werewolves will skip from the screens to the streets where they'll be busy ringing doorbells on their "trick or treat" rounds. But don't worry, they aren't really scary monsters – even if some of the fancy dress costumes look very convincing.
What is Halloween anyway?
One theory is that Halloween has its origins in the heathen Gaelic festival of Samhain, a kind of harvest celebration which also marked the beginning of winter. The Celts believed that on that day the dead would rise again. The scary costumes were intended to ward off evil spirits.
There is however no scientific proof for this theory. What is known is that Irish immigrants brought the custom to America, where it's now one of the most commercially successful annual holidays.
The name Halloween is derived from "all hallows evening," describing the night before the Christian festival of All Saints' Day, "Allerheiligen" in German. it is a Christian festival celebrated on November 1 - originally to honor saints. It is actually part of the "Allhallowtide" triduum, three days of festivities that includes Halloween (All Saints' Eve), All Saints' Day, and All Souls' Day on November 2. In Germany, the November 1 national holiday is a day to remember the deceased with candles in cemeteries.
Inspired by American popular culture, Halloween has also been celebrated by folks in ghost and witches costumes in Germany for the past 20 years. But how exactly do they mark the day? Here are five questions regarding German Halloween traditions: