Life around the world

Tuesday, 29 October, 2013 - 12:32

An American Halloween in Germany

by KatieP

I am not the biggest Halloween fan ever but at home I normally dress up for a party and carve a pumpkin. I don't really like the idea of "Trick or Treating" so celebrate Halloween in my own way. As Halloween fast approaches this year I was invited last weekend to one of my American friend's flat to do a bit of pumpkin carving.

I'm currently living in Germany where Halloween isn't really as big as it is in the UK and especially not as big as it is in the US. Firstly, there was the difficulty of acquiring a pumpkin. The majority of supermarkets did not have many, if any, pumpkins for sale. Eventually I managed to find one in a shop and although the pumpkins were in a display cabinet in the shop, they were actually for sale.

So, equipped with my spoon and a variety of knives I headed out. I was quite worried about this event as I know Halloween is huge in America and I have not carved too many pumpkins but it turned out to be great fun. My friends had brought along a few American sweet treats such as Reese's cups, which are chocolate and peanut butter snacks, and Peeps, which were orange pumpkin-shaped sugary marshmallows which I had never tried before. It was great to chat to my friends and snack on these American treats whilst carving my pumpkin. The actual carving was hard work, I began by cutting off the top section and hollowing out the pumpkin with my spoon. We saved the pips and threw out the gooey insides, although I know many people do make soup or cakes using this. After I had removed all of the insides from the pumpkin I used a marker pen to draw on my design and then cut it out. I decided it was easier to follow the lines from the marker rather than just go straight in with the knife. After we had all finished our pumpkins we lit the candles, turned off the lights and admired our hard work! They looked great! Throughout the day we had been listening to a "Halloween Playlist" which included a few traditional Halloween songs such as Monster Mash and the Beetlejuice soundtrack which I enjoyed as I had never even realised that Halloween music existed.

To finish off the day we washed the pumpkin seeds, covered them in oil and salt and then roasted them in the oven. I had never done this before but my friends were really keen for me to try them. They tasted a little strange and crispy but they were not bad although I was not too keen on the after-taste they left in my mouth after I had eaten them. It was a fantastic day and I had a lot of fun and also experienced a lot of new and different traditions which I found really interesting.

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Do you like Halloween? What traditions do you follow? Have you ever carved a pumpkin?

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