Maienstecken – Witches Night in Germany

Today, as I write this, it is April 30th. It’s a regular day, the sun has been shining and all seems well and good in the world. What you wouldn’t know, especially as an “Ausländerin,” is that today is actually the day of terror. I remember last year that we sat in the dark and watched the town unfold into a world of chaos and panic!

Ok, maybe I’m being a little dramatic but the possibility the town could be a giant fireball by morning is high. April 30th is known as “Maienstecken” here in Germany. Also known as the “Witches Night.” Halloween sound familiar?? What does this mean? It basically means to take/hide/move things. There is no literal translation but the meaning is that the children (ages from 7-18 approximately) get together and go around their town causing chaos hidden under the dark blanket of the night sky.

Here they are getting ready - bag full of tricks!

Chaos can start with the basics of egging, toilet paper, or the other usual Halloween tricks we all know and love. The more extreme is where the name “Maienstecken” comes from. Toblerone was telling me about his past days and told me a few of the menacing things he and his buddies did:

* Blowing up a mailbox – Need I remind you that all the mailboxes here in Germany are attached to the house. Not down the driveway as a separate entity as we know it in the US.

* Taking a hay tractor and moving it down to the town hall.

* Putting an entire bottle of dish soap in someone’s fountain.

* Hid trash cans.

* Took the wood pile and built up a wood wall directly in front of someone’s front door.

* Took a trailer apart, rebuilt it on the roof of a barn and filled it with cow manure.

The idea is to take someone’s things and completely move them so they hopefully never find them again. So picture this. Last year, we sat in the dark, looking out the window for shadows of scrawny tweens, and cleaning the BB gun. I’m an American – you come near my stuff, I will break your legs. We were lucky last year, no one bothered us, but I’ll tell you what. If I find that anything is out of place I just might be tempted to place mines on the soccer fields where the kids play all day long. I just might. Watch out kiddies! I’m a retired Halloween trickster.

Found this video on YouTube of some drunk nonsense. These idiots are drunk and doing it in broad daylight. I’m not sure exactly what they are doing to someone’s tree but all I could think about is how much that tree must have cost at the Garden Center!!

UPDATE: checked out the damage this morning and all we got was a stupid shaving cream smiley face. 


Until next time, Readers!!! Xoxoxoxo

2 thoughts on “Maienstecken – Witches Night in Germany

  1. Sorry, a little off topic here, but its seeing the pics that reminds me. Whats happening with the baskets of rocks as I am pretty sure you said you didn’t like them and wondered what, if anything, you could do to soften the look or get rid of them completely.
    Any news on that at all?
    We used to do something similar to this at Halloween. We used to ‘gatelift’ We took gates off their hinges [easy when you know how] and either hide them, or swap them for someone elses gate. It was all in the name of fun, but my guess is that my grandma would not have thought so 😉

  2. We discussed it with the landscapers to remove those and leave large boulders instead but they seemed to think it would cause more problems. I’m not sure exactly what issues they found with it but for now we’ll leave it as is. We can always buy ivys or something that grows like crazy to cover it up a bit.

    Yes indeed, the gatelift! I’ve heard of this! Wretched children!!!

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