Look out for Hexennacht!


The eve of May 1st (May Day) is witches night in Germany and apparently that means to lock everything down. All the groups I am in online warned Americans living off post to pull their cars in the garage, bring in garden furniture, decorations, and even your doormat! I thought it was silly but when my new friend in the neighborhood warned me to take heed, I did! I brought everything in and waited. 

Tradition is that teenagers play tricks on neighbors like doorbell-ditching, smearing mustard on door handles, hiding floor mats and trash cans, removing garden gates, and wrapping cars in toilet paper. I am not anticipating any trouble in our neighborhood, but I will let you know if anything happens by updating this post.

We were even warned to be careful driving on Friday because occasionally traffic signs get moved and manhole covers can be taken! I don’t think I ever heard of anything other than toilet papering houses for the American version of mischief night, although I hear that is just a New Jersey thing anyways ;).

Hexxennacht originated in pagan times when people believed ghosts and witches tried to prevent the “Queen of Spring” from coming. People would hide their broomsticks so witches couldn’t steal them and do evil things.

Once again, Germans have the best holidays! I don’t think our village is doing anything special for May Day, but if we go out we are bound to see a May Pole or tree in other villages. We will probably stay in though as I still have some prep to do for my birthday road trip that starts Monday!

First stop is Dreisen, the village my fathers Great Great Grandfather emigrated to the US from in the 1850’s. From there we are heading south through Bavaria stopping in Hohenschwangau to visit Schloss Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein castle (castle from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang). After that we are heading to Salzburg to tour the filming sites from The Sound of Music, and tour the city that gave the world Mozart. Finally, on the way back we are spending a night at Lake Chiemsee. I AM SO EXCITED!!

Side note, as an American military family in Germany I will need to carry with me 3 drivers licenses; stateside license to make other licenses valid, USAREUR license to drive in Germany, and international license to drive outside Germany. We each (even Brock) also need to carry our official passport and travel passport. Talk about paperwork!

I can barely sit still I am so excited. All I hope is that Brock behaves at night. Recently he hasn’t been very good with sleeping. Otherwise he is perfect :lol:. We still go to Kindermusik every week, and this week we started going to a German play group with my new friend from the village. He really loved the other children and especially loved playing in the ball pit—I think I’ll have to get him one. He isn’t crawling yet, but he tries so hard, especially around other children. He gets up on all fours and kind of rolls to the side and does it over and over and can move across a room that way. He is still the big boy in class… he and Landon (my friends 2 year old) weigh the same and Landon is wearing only one size bigger than Brock.

I have been keeping my mind sharp by researching my family history and am so enjoying leaning about my ancestors! I also started working on an 85” x 85” quilted wall hanging. Here are some examples of the pattern: Judy Niemayer Prairie Star.

Keep posted for blogs about all of my birthday trip coming up! Thanks for reading, and happy May Day!

UPDATE: I watched my neighbors bring in their yard items, heard kids out late at night, but nothing happened. Also, my friend brought over their ball pit for Brock since Landon isn’t using it anymore. This is one happy kid!



11 thoughts on “Look out for Hexennacht!

  1. Can’t wait to hear what happens in your neighborhood! Stay safe! And have a great trip! You made out ok getting the other license , did you have to bring the translater, like Fil needed?


  2. Hi Jen: The quilt samples are beautiful. What one are you going to do? There are so many pretty ones I know it will be hard to choose. You know, Brock may not crawl at all but start right up with walking. Pretty smart kid if he knows to get up on all 4’s and then roll. He’s going to be all boy.
    Have a wonderful birthday trip. Love to all


  3. Happy Mayday to you all !! I cannot believe how every photo I see of Brock he changes..where is time going. Have a wonderful birthday trip, looking forward to seeing the photos and reading about the adventure.


  4. I’ve never had a problem on Walpurgisnacht, but I have been out in the wee hours to see kids running around some of the larger towns armed with toilet paper. Some other fun traditions on the eve of May Day are the huge bonfires, and the personalized Maypoles left on the yard of your beloved! Enjoy your trip!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Everything just sounds wonderful, Jen! I love that you are having such a fantastic time over there. I am beyond excited about your birthday trip! Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! 🙂


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