Friday, 25 October 2013

Halloween

One Halloween, I just did nothing special. Which is what I do on Halloween each year.

Because we are not celebrating this day in this home. You know, I am not a fan of Halloween at all. It is something that came into vogue in this country some years ago. And I am not so sure if it is even done "right" here. Kids dress up in scary clothes (but I learned that kids and adults in the US dress up as whatever they want to, they are not limited to only scary costumes), go trick-or-treating and mess around on your property if you do not open the door (thank god we live so far out of town that no one feels like taking the long way to ring at our door). The shops are flooded with all things Halloween: pumpkins, spider webs, ghosts, scary masks, ...

I do not like holidays that did not evolve naturally over time in our country's history. We have so many own traditions here that I think we do not need to add another, artificial one. Do we really need another holiday? I don't think so. Instead, I want our own traditions to be handed over to our kids like they were handed over fom our parents to us and so on. They are part of our grown culture and should be treasured.

We have something that is quite similar to Halloween. It is called the carnival, taking place in February. It is celebrated quite differently in our country, depending on where you live and how the carnival developed in the respective area. But wherever you live, the basic things are the same: The kids and adults dress up in fantasy costumes and have fun, too. There is no trick-or-treating but there are a lot of parades where enormous amounts of sweets and candy are given to the kids so they get bags full of candy and, therefore, their sugar crush, too. But it is just something that evolved naturally and, in some parts of our country, is a tradition that is hundreds of years old. It feels natural, not artificial. It has a real meaning in our country. There are many lovely things that are connected with the carnival: old habits, traditions, special ways to do things. It feels homey and lovely and good, like an old, worn and warm blanket that you wrap around your shoulders. It is the essence of home for me.

I wrote about it this year already. So if you want to know what our traditional carnival looks like, please read about it and watch the video I posted here.

So, I guess you will find my next "Halloween" post (aka carnival post) next February! :-) Stay tuned until then!









This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday using the sentence "One Halloween, I..."

Your hosts:
Kate of Can I Get Another Bottle Of Whine...
Janine of Janine's Confessions of a Mommyaholic
Stephanie of Mommy, for Real
Kristi of Finding Ninee

17 comments:

  1. You got me really curious with this post and made me wonder where you are from originally ... so I've been reading your 'about me' section, but I still don't know! I definitely agree with you that holidays should evolve naturally over time and that old traditions and customs feel homey and good. I am so envious of people who come from countries with a really long history, like my partner who is from Sicily, because I do not feel that ancient, warm-blanket feeling with any of the traditions practised in Australia, except for Christmas and ANZAC Day. I know some Australians feel really strongly and patriotically about Australia Day, but I just don't feel it the same way that I know people who come from countries that celebrate Carnivale and many other festivals feel about those events.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lizzy,

      I just answered in my about section ;-)

      Carnival is really THE most homey-feeling celebration for me. It is not celebrated everywhere in Germany but rather in the regions where it grew and evolved over time. The places where it was not celebrated in the past are starting to celebrate it, too, but it is very often a mixture of different traditions, so it feels quite artificial, and some people who do not not the original thing think carnival means getting drunk and being unfaithful to your spouse. So friends of mine coming from regions where it is not celebrated often do not "get it". You have to grow up with it to fully understand the meaning and the beauty of it.

      Delete
    2. I didn't realise Carnival was celebrated in some parts of Germany! I've celebrated it in Italy before (although never in Venice - that's on my 'to-do' list!). I thought perhaps you might have been from South America when you said you celebrated Carnival. I think you're right that you have to grow up celebrating things like this to truly appreciate their significance and their beauty.

      Delete
    3. Oh really, you did not know that? Oh, I could write a whole essay on carnival because it just LOVE it.

      The carnival in Venice must be totally awesome. But it is completely different to how we celebrate it here. But I would love to see it one day, too!

      Delete
  2. I am with Lizzy and was trying to figure out where you are from that you don't celebrate Halloween. I know not everyone celebrates all over the world, but the carnival you described sounds like equal fun and I guess you do still have a few months before you celebrate, but still thank you for sharing that here with us today, Joy!! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for commenting, Janine!

      It really is a lot of fun and I am already so much looking forward to it!

      Delete
  3. I remember your Carnival post! And I don't blame you at all for preferring traditional holidays and activities to ones that are commercialized and not a part of your country's history. That makes perfect sense to me and I look forward to reading about this year's Carnival in February!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes to the part about the commercialised holidays! That's one thing I hate about Halloween, too. Ugh.

      Delete
  4. I don't like the scary aspects either. When the kids were younger, I hated going to the store with them just because the decorations were so ugly. Have a fun weekend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Alana! Yes, the scary decorations are frightening for small kids.

      Delete
  5. We're celebrating both, as the girls are both German and American, and it really IS a fun holiday. I'm personally not a fan of carnival, the music is just beyond annoying, but we suffer through one carnival party for the girls each year... Can't wait for your next carnival post though ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it makes perfect sense that you are celebrating both because of the German and American background of your kids.

      I totally get what you mean with the music. For me, the most important parts of carnival are the street parades and being part of it. Or strolling through the pubs afterwards in full gear with just a handful of other "Narren" (how do you translate that? fools? Not really...?) and having fun with the people in the pub, not disclosing your identity. Which is something that is deeply rooted in our traditions, too. I am not a big fan of the drinking and sweating in crowded gymnasiums suffering through the horrible music afterwards ;-)

      Delete
  6. for my part I totally dislike holidays that include the use of fireworks… none of our dogs have even been anything but totally unhappy with the sounds in the night of explosions at random times.
    unfortunately, and for socio-cultural reasons beyond my understanding, fireworks have started to spread as the expression of joy for more and more 'holiday'.
    July 4th used to be the only fireworks enhanced day of the year, but in recent years we are hearing explosion on Labor Day (end of Summer), Columbus Day and I would swear I heard firecrackers during Easter! lol
    can't wait until the Christmas season!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can totally understand that. Here it is only allowed to ignite fireworks on New Year's Eve, otherwise it is forbidden and no fireworks are sold throughout the year. And I must say that the people stick to that rule.

      When I was a kid we used to have a dog and he was always soooo scared of the fireworks! Poor guy!

      Delete
  7. That's very interesting. When we were stationed in Okinawa, Japan - they celebrated Independence Day (the 4th of July) - I figured it was because of the military presence over there. But it was weird. I can't remember if they did anything for Halloween.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi. Nice to meet you and read this great post. Love your video on the Carnival. My friend's son has moved from Canada to Wurzburg - arrived not knowing a word of German and is now fluent. Anyway, he loves the markets that flourish during Christmas. I'll have to ask him about Carnival!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I completely agree with you. I have a friend from Germany and they do some really lame version of Halloween, when she came to visit she was so excited to participate in the "real" Halloween.

    ReplyDelete

I LOVE comments! Please talk to me! :-)