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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Germany Series at GermanPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind German holidays and observances. I’m Michael, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 25 - Halloween.
In this lesson, we will discuss Halloween, called “Halloween” in German and All Saints' Day, or “Allerheiligen”. Halloween is celebrated every year in the evening and during the night of October 31 to November 1. The Christian feast of All Saints' Day is celebrated every year on November 1.
Now, before we get into more detail, I've got a question for you-
Do you know why people in Germany are not allowed to dance on November 1?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later, so keep listening!
Storefronts, public institutions, and homes are decorated well before October 31 with leaves, chestnuts and pumpkins or “Kürbisse”. Mostly these are cut open at the top, hollowed out inside and carved in a way that they look like a face. A candle is placed in the pumpkin so that it glows from the inside. In the first and second week of November, fairs are also organized in some cities, such as Soest, Cologne, and Trier.
In the Western Church, All Saints' Day is celebrated on November 1 as the anniversary of the saints. However, the word "saint" or “Heiliger” in this context doesn’t refer to people who are filled with the Holy Spirit, which is often referred to as “Heiliger Geist”. Instead, the focus is on the "ordinary saints", or in other words, the people who believe in God under the Christian faith. Many believers visit cemeteries or “Friedhöfe” on All Saints' Day to decorate the graves of their relatives. Many of them place a candle and light on it. In prayers and supplications, they think about the deceased.
A particularly popular bakery product on All Saints' Day is the long plaited bun called “Seelenzopf”, which you can buy in many bakeries starting in early November. The bun is made of yeast dough, which is braided into plaits and sprinkled with pearl sugar or poppy seeds. It has now also become a custom for godparents to present this bun, sometimes with a coin inside, to their godchildren.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
Do you know why people in Germany are not allowed to dance on November 1?
In the federal states of Baden-Wuerttemberg, Bayern, Nordrhein Westfalen, Rheinland Pfalz and Saarland, November 1 is not only a public holiday, it is also a quiet holiday. This means that no public dance events can be held on this day.
So listeners, how did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting? How do you celebrate Halloween in your country? Leave a comment telling us at GermanPod101.com. Thank you for listening and bye for now, everyone.