Halloween, as it is celebrated in the States, is not a traditional German holiday. However, as a result of the tens of thousands of American service members and their families stationed in Germany for the last three-quarters of a century, Halloween customs are gaining traction in Bavaria and adjacent areas.
What is long popular in Germany are pumpkin festivals. Kürbis is a popular fall ingredient-especially in soups. And since Germans like to celebrate seasonal ingredients with a festival, the pumpkin has its special day in some German cities.
One of the most popular pumpkin festivals is the Kürbisausstellung in Ludwigsburg near Stuttgart. On the grounds of Germany's largest Baroque palace, the pumpkin is celebrated with carvings, contests, and elaborate displays made from pumpkins. It is not uncommon to see German children roaming the palace grounds while wearing their Halloween costumes.
Instead of going out on and trick-or-treating on October 31st, German children save that for Fasching, an elaborate pre-Lenten celebration that goes on for weeks throughout Southern Germany. Costumes and candy abound during festivals and parades. And there are just as many tricks as treats.
The Bavarian Bierhaus will again be celebrating Fasching this coming year. So save your Halloween costumes and join in the fun from Feb 22 - Mar 5.