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Old 17.09.2010, 15:49
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Can I "trick or treat" on Halloween?

Is this done here? If yes, then does anyone have any tips on how it goes. Such as...

What time of day would be appropriate?
Should I only visit decorated houses?
What do I say at the door? (i.e. the Swiss German version of "trick or treat")
What's the dress code? (Us usual, my daughter will want to be a fairy or princess.... Is it weird if I am dressed up too?)

Thanks for the help!

P.S. I live in Meilen
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Old 17.09.2010, 15:51
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Re: Can I "trick or treat" on Halloween?

You can try, but there's no saying what I'd do if you did.
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Old 17.09.2010, 15:52
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Re: Can I "trick or treat" on Halloween?

I would be over prepared to "Trick"
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Old 17.09.2010, 15:56
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Re: Can I "trick or treat" on Halloween?

Certainly not popular in our village but that doesn't stop my lot giving it a go!!
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Old 17.09.2010, 15:57
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Re: Can I "trick or treat" on Halloween?

We had friends around for dinner last year on Halloween so we had pumpkins in the window and other decorations. We also had big bowls of sweets to give to any children that called at the door, and there were quite a few groups that came to the door so they've obviously heard of it over here.

However, I wasn't very happy to have to clean all the eggs of the windows and shutters the next day so we may not bother this year.
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Old 17.09.2010, 15:58
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Re: Can I "trick or treat" on Halloween?

Our friend does it every year. She would call all her friends within walking distance in advance (locals as well as us auslanders) so that we are prepared with goodies and she offers to chaperone the kids who wants to join in.

Somehow the kids always seem to get bored after 4 or 5 houses, and they also seem to end up needing the loo at every stop!
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Old 17.09.2010, 15:59
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Re: Can I "trick or treat" on Halloween?

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However, I wasn't very happy to have to clean all the eggs of the windows and shutters the next day so we may not bother this year.
Eggs were thrown at your window! Seriously?
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Old 17.09.2010, 16:02
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Re: Can I "trick or treat" on Halloween?

Ironically, I don't let my daughter eat a lot of candy. It's just for the fun of dressing up, getting out the door with other dressed up kids, and entertaining the other kids whose parents do let them eat lots of candy!

Maybe she get's some chocolate at the end of the day, but I hate the pure sugar hard candies, bleh.
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Old 17.09.2010, 16:02
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Re: Can I "trick or treat" on Halloween?

its no common custom, celebration here but it became more popular over the years, so you can try. the people will get the connection about what is going on as its the time of year, shops and such do put up the halloween theme (pumpkins n stuff). to be sure that nothing goes wrong look for decorated houses only...but i believe it will work out fine for the rest too.


if she goes, she shall say: süsses sonst gibts saures. thats the high german version. but it could be a bit offensive, maybe. i dunno a swiss german version...anyone?

is she in kindergarten, can you ask someone there, maybe local parents?
maybe they can even gang up?
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Old 17.09.2010, 16:05
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Re: Can I "trick or treat" on Halloween?

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However, I wasn't very happy to have to clean all the eggs of the windows and shutters the next day so we may not bother this year.
Some kids are compensating for their "Schulsilvester" tradition (last school day of the year before Christmas holidays), which ended a few years ago because of increasing vandalism. It's a shame that the Halloween spirit hasn't really been explained to them - a lot more into tricking as well as getting treats too. Some of my son's friends were also bombarded with eggs by adults from their apartment windows in Seefeld, when they did the rounds last year. Not fun anymore.

To OP. Try and get together with some families/friends from your local school and go together. In general, decorated places and places where you know the inhabitants are fine. I wouldn't go to other houses, as Halloween is not a tradition here, and you might have difficulty explaining why you're dressed up and it's not carnival time. The Swiss have their "Räbeliechtli" (lanterns) processions instead.
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Old 17.09.2010, 16:10
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Re: Can I "trick or treat" on Halloween?

I hear it's not the best idea in Biel at the Mon-Désir-Weg, especially if you're dressed up as a policeman.
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Old 17.09.2010, 16:13
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Re: Can I "trick or treat" on Halloween?

Ask your neighbors what is expected in your building/neighborhood.

Trick-or-treating was getting sort of popular in my neighborhood, but there was a bit of a backlash starting a few years ago. Many of the locals felt strongly that it was 'un-Swiss' and discouraged participation - and a few children ended up in tears after having been on the receiving end of a tirade.

But things are indeed a bit different out here in the Heart Of Darkness. Your neighborhood may well embrace the activity - seriously, ask around.

As everyone here knows I am an American, I usually am asked if trick-or-treaters may come round, and I do get a handful of children stopping by most years, usually in the late afternoon. But I've never seen a parent dress up. In fact, I don't remember ever seeing a parent at all. The little ones come by themselves.
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Old 17.09.2010, 16:16
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Re: Can I "trick or treat" on Halloween?

yes sure why not
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Old 17.09.2010, 16:18
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Re: Can I "trick or treat" on Halloween?

I've lived in 'communities' where they do trick or treat, and have always had candy ready to give away.

Never had 'tricks' done to me, no eggs or toilet paper issues. The kids were always really sweet and made me chuckle seeing how they dressed up. Almost always a parent was there as well (probably just to keep an eye on things)

Would love to experience this in the US where it gets "done right".
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Old 17.09.2010, 16:20
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Re: Can I "trick or treat" on Halloween?

my neighbourhood we get a fair mix of kids.. and yes with parents some of whom are in costume

and we also get a few swiss teenagers without any costume or clue as to treat-or-treat who just knock on the door and ask for chocolate
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Old 17.09.2010, 16:25
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Re: Can I "trick or treat" on Halloween?

I would dress up for none other than my daughters sake...

I will definitely ask the neighbors what happened last year. Her school is FAR away from our neighborhood.

Thanks everyone for the feedback, very much appreciated, I am glad I asked
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Old 17.09.2010, 16:44
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Re: Can I "trick or treat" on Halloween?

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Ironically, I don't let my daughter eat a lot of candy. It's just for the fun of dressing up, getting out the door with other dressed up kids, and entertaining the other kids whose parents do let them eat lots of candy!

Maybe she get's some chocolate at the end of the day, but I hate the pure sugar hard candies, bleh.
Generally speaking, "Halloween" is kind of "new" here, most people heard of it, but that's maybe as far as it goes. Altho Halloween parties are becoming more popular with kids, but I've never heard/seen anyone "trick-or-treating" door-to-door here like in the US. If you really want to get dressed up and celebrate, I'd look into organizing a party.

Oh, and in Feb/March (somewhere around there, I forget) there's "Fasching" (or "Carnival" or "Marti-Gras" or whatever) where everyone dresses up in costumes and there's usually a parade in every major city where you can dress-up and join in. Not Halloween, but probably as close as you'll get to it here..
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Old 17.09.2010, 19:39
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Re: Can I "trick or treat" on Halloween?

Definitely wouldn't recommend it around here.

My daughter has often volunteered to collect for charity and I can't beliiiieeeeve the (negative) reception she has had from some ahem....older members of Swiss society.

Greedy gits!!!! *





* No responsibility will be taken for author's opinion.
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Old 17.09.2010, 19:47
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Re: Can I "trick or treat" on Halloween?

Are you in the USA?

- Yes: do it
- No: don't do it

Any occurrence of such shenanigans in Europe has been imported from the land of armed bears.

It isn't cute: it's plain irritating
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Old 17.09.2010, 19:52
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Re: Can I "trick or treat" on Halloween?

Can anyone tell me when the swiss celebrate halloween, is it on 31st October ?

I dont plan to dress up rather i want to be prepared this year around.. A lot of families celebrate it in my building and last year i had to turn down a lot of kids because all i had at home was Beer and take-out
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