“Trick or Treat!” – The popular draw around the house on Halloween is being scrutinized by many experts this year due to the corona pandemic. “The very clear recommendation is to drop the habit this year,” said Jakob Maske, Berlin spokesperson for the professional association of pediatricians. In order not to disappoint the children, parents look for alternatives.
Native American custom is now widespread in Germany. On the evening of October 31, houses are usually teeming with grim reapers, zombies or skeletons. Many children go door to door, dressed in groups, to collect candy.
This year the streets should be emptier as the Corona crisis is forcing many families to rethink. ‘You don’t even know who opens the door. Maybe it is a person from the group at risk, ”says Maske. The risk of infection is simply too high.
The Federal Minister of Family Affairs, Franziska Giffey (SPD), also followed the recommendation of the pediatricians. “To run from door to door in groups collecting candy – this is not the right time right now,” Giffey told the Welt. However, the party does not have to be canceled completely: “At home, in a small group, dressing up and snacking can also be fun.”
The US military in Wiesbaden is now even taking drastic measures to prevent contamination from Halloween celebrations. The military’s European headquarters is located in the state capital of Hesse – with large residential areas for American soldiers, where many American and German children are usually out and about on Halloween.
Daycare centers advise parents not to hunt for sweets
However, as the US military has announced, the entrances will be completely closed on the evening of October 31. Daycare centers also advise great caution on Halloween. According to deputy city spokesman Hansjörg Wittern, daycare centers in the Hanseatic city of Lübeck will recommend parents not to hunt for sweets.
Ring the bell in disguise – that’s a Halloween tradition. This year, however, because of the corona pandemic, some … Photo: dpa-tmn / Christin Klose
[Wenn Sie alle aktuellen Nachrichten live auf Ihr Handy haben wollen, empfehlen wir Ihnen unsere runderneuerte App, die Sie hier für Apple- und Android-Geräte herunterladen können.]
Kita Berlin’s State Parents Committee also endorses this recommendation. “In times when the corona numbers are rising sharply, you do not go out in groups and ring the bell at dozens of houses,” says chairman Corinna Balkow. According to Balkow, the children don’t have to give up the fun of Halloween completely.
Small children in particular can also be enjoyed at home. ‘The children change up, knock on the door of their parents, for example, and get candy,’ Balkow suggests. Families just need to get creative this year. Eleven-year-old Jolina from Nuremberg, for example, has found an alternative with her family.
An alternative: bake cookies and watch a horror movie
“We bake Halloween cookies at home and watch a horror movie,” she says. Five-year-old Oskar from Nauen, Brandenburg, is invited with friends to a small garden party. “Dracula teeth and spider hair rings have already been bought,” says his mother Jacqueline.
[Mehr aus der Hauptstadt. Mehr aus der Region. Mehr zu Politik und Gesellschaft. Und mehr Nützliches für Sie. Das gibt’s nun mit Tagesspiegel Plus: Jetzt 30 Tage kostenlos testen.]
According to her mother Stephanie, eight-year-old Romy from Bredow near Berlin is taking a scary walk to an old, abandoned train station. To the student, however, this only seems like a small consolation. “I think it’s very stupid and a shame that we probably won’t be able to collect candy this year,” says Romy.
To keep the Halloween angels from becoming a real horror experience for kids, experts only recommend age-appropriate movies … Photo: dpa-tmn / Sophia Reddig
The Corona crisis is not only spoiling the horror festival for many children, it is also affecting the business of the toy industry. According to the German Association of the Toy Industry, annual sales on Halloween are usually between 50 and 100 million euros. “The level of the past few years will hardly be attainable”, predicts Ulrich Brobeil, director of the association.
Business for online costume retailers is apparently going as usual
Many online costume retailers, on the other hand, didn’t show major fluctuations, says Felix Schirl, director of trbo. According to the company, among the technology company’s customers are several online costume retailers. “Families with children in particular are looking forward to Halloween, they don’t want to be without it.”
[In unseren Leute-Newslettern berichten wir wöchentlich aus den zwölf Berliner Bezirken. Die Newsletter können Sie hier kostenlos bestellen: leute.tagesspiegel.de]
Brobeil also believes that hanging out during Halloween isn’t as risky as many doctors or parents. After all, many children went to the same class or sports club. In addition, everyone can decide for themselves whether or not to open the door.
“Or he puts something out there if the risk seems too great to him,” says Brobeil. The children should have participated sufficiently this year. Nor should this joy be taken from them. (dpa)