I was invited by Maria this evening for Pizza & champagne - I would have preferred wine for this occasion - I even had brought a bottle of my fave red whine with me, but she stored it somewhere & offered instead that champagne.
While dining & conversationing the door bell was ringing - first Maria didn't react, because she was expecting no-one, just like me never react to someone ringing at the door. - Living in a big town all the day there ring people mainly on the door bells of the upper stories (to not get disturbed) who want to throw commercials in the letter boxes. So you get accustomed to only let people in, who are invited or have called before by phone. -
But the ringing on Maria's door repeated sometimes & she looked down the window (she lives on 4th floor) & shouted slightly angry 'Who' there?' - She saw a group of children who shouted something back & she came back & pressed the open button to the street door - she told me they had called 'Süßes oder Saures' ('Trick or Treat' literal 'Sweet or Sour' which means 'give us sweets or we turn sour on you') & she put some nuts, some cookies & chocalate & mandarines in a bag. - I told Maria maybe she should ask the children to sing something before she gives them the presents. So when the little gang children had reached our story I went curiously with her to the door & saw they were partly disguised, one as 'Death', the other's I couldn't make out.
Maria gave them the sweets & after my advice asked them to sing something in response - the children were surprised by that demand (may I had confused something) & had no idea about a song to sing, but at least tried it by singing ''Süßes oder Saures' 2 or 3 times for some seconds - Later on Maria told me, that one of them had told her, that she was the friendliest person that had opened the door for them this evening, which made of course Maria very happy & I mentioned ".. you get endowed while you make a present".
About 10 minutes later, the door bell rang again - we new another group of halloween inspired children - The children had gotten already in the house & we heard them directly in front of the flat door - Maria cried "One moment please!" while she was searching her vanishing storage of sweets & nuts & needed some minutes. - So when she opened the door the children were already gone.
I warned Maria to allocate her remaining storage of sweets. - But there was no ringing on the door anymore for long time. - A last late group of children came at about 10 p.m. - I suggested to Maria to give them something literal sour, if they demanded for it - so we put a lemon to the sweets for this group. - Surprisingly these 4 children weren't that interested to take the sweets - one wanted a glass of water, the girl was enjoyed to just take the lemon & Maria had to insist to make her take also a piece of chocalate - one boy had his face painted black & Maria asked him as what? he was disguised.
He said: "Indian" - Hmm Indian with black face & skicap - they don't look anymore like they used to. What about feathers, some Indian weapons? - He could have been as well 'Chimneysweeper' - Well but it's just our fantasy that makes our disguise perfect..
You see here on our reactions that Halloween is about unknown here. - First time I noticed it, it was last year that I noticed children here going around & ringing on doors. & most people still don't care, nor even know it, because it has no tradition here.
Halloween rooted in Ireland, England & spread to North America has no tradition here. - We have instead "Fasching" (carneval), starting on 11.11. each year & lasting to it's highlights till February, where people disguise, wear costumes & masks & celebrate crazy feastings & parades. - We have in May 'Walpurgisnacht' a witch celebration & have on the day of 'Heilige Drei Könige' (holy 3 kings) - where children go on catholic regions from door to door & sing a song or 2 & get rewarded with sweets etc.
The American influence of Haloween came here mainly by American films & soaps & commercials - & I think we don't need it here - it's the American counterpart to Fasching - & it's just stupid to have them both here.
& I don't like the side effect of 'Süßes oder Saures' - children in little gangs turning sour (mad) at you if you don't open or give them some sweets. -
When I left Maria late in the evening my bycicle which I had parked on the frontside of her house, was thrown to the ground & one frame was bent. - Probably by those children where Maria wasn't quick enough at the door. - Somtimes I like to give, but I don't like to be forced to give just by the cheap excuse of imported tradition. - We have enough stupid own traditions here anyway which make no sense either..