American Holidays in Germany

Halloween is mostly a holiday for tourists and English-speakers, or so I’m told. Nonetheless, I found a few fun ways to celebrate the holiday abroad. Berlin’s a big enough city that it’s succumbed to a bit of America’s cultural imperialism and there were Halloween parties at most of the major clubs in the city, but I didn’t see people walking around during the day or anything wearing costumes.

Pumpkin Carving

I was dying to make pumpkin bread and pumpkin chip cookies, so I bought a little pumpkin from the supermarket and invited Mischo over. It was his first time carving a pumpkin!

I was so proud, he did it all by himself. He was pretty proud, as well.

Immediately afterwards we roasted the seeds and cooked the pumpkin in the oven. Microwaves are a rare luxury in Germany so you can imagine that food processors are almost unheard of, so I mashed up the pumpkin with a fork to make puree. I wound up making one loaf of bread and two batches of cookies with it.

IES Fall Kickoff Party

One Friday afternoon after class in October, the IES Language & Area Studies students celebrated fall with a small party. There were baked goods, hot spiced cider, hot chocolate, and little pieces of Ritter chocolate. So delicious! Afterwards we had a big pumpkin carving contest. My group’s zombie pumpkin won, although they all turned out great! It was so fun to celebrate a little piece of America here.

IES Halloween Party

Since there were virtually no parties on Halloween night itself (they were all the weekend before or after), the entire IES program (including the English-speaking Metropolitan Studies students) got together in the evening for a Halloween party.

Thanksgiving Dinner

The evening before Thanksgiving, IES put on a little “taste of home” Thanksgiving dinner for us at (of course) a German restaurant. The restaurant was super Bavarian themed, although one room was over-decorated with kitschy harvest decorations. We ate German things like bread with cheese, potato dumplings, and Spätzle (German noodles). The best part? Like the Halloween party, IES allotted us two drinks each. They had a really delicious red wine at the restaurant, which certainly contributed to the festive atmosphere.


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