Halloween… in Austria?

Halloween is not a traditional holiday here in Austria, so we generally do not hype it as much as North Americans do. When I was little, we used to watch all types of TV shows from the US and wanted to go trick-or-treating like the cool kids. I remember the first time we did that we had to explain what Halloween is and why we were dressed up as witches and zombies. In fact, most elderly people in Austria still don’t know what Halloween is, but I can’t blame them.

Halloween here in Austria has become another reason to party for most adolescents and twenty-somethings. Each year, more and more kids show up at our door asking for ‘Süßes oder Saures’, which translates to ‘Something sweet or something sour’ and is meant to be the German version of ‘trick or treat’. Even though more and more people participate in Halloween festivities it still is not – and I don’t think will ever be – a serious part in Austrian festive culture.

Honestly, I just use it as a cheap excuse to dress up and play with make up. The Mexican inspired sugar skull you can see in the picture was probably my most elaborate piece of art. The look was inspired by Jamie Genevieve’s tutorial on YouTube, which also made me a steady follower of hers.

Fasching – or Austrian carnival – in February is the Austrian take on Halloween. Fasching is historically rooted in Religion, but developed into a big festivity with traditional dances, comedy nights and drinking (as always in Europe!). Anyhow, Fasching is not meant to be ‘scary’ like Halloween, as the costumes are more fun and less scary. I generally like Fasching and all the carnival festivities around Europe a lot more because they are linked to my culture. Aside from that, Fasching does not involve kids ringing your doorbell and asking for your candy!

How do you celebrate Halloween in your country?