Halloween was introduced in both France and Germany in the 1990’s. But Rommelbootzennaat has been celebrated in the French region of Moselle for hundreds of years. Rommelbootzennaat translates to Night of the Grimacing Beets. The word is in a German dialect that’s spoken in Moselle called Lorraine Franconian. You pronounce it Rom-mel-boot-zen-naat. The holiday is also celebrated in a nearby state of Germany called Saarland.
The holiday has its origins in an ancient Celtic festival called Samhain. It’s interesting to note that Halloween was originally imported to the US by Celtic Irish migrants in the 19th century.
Rommelbootzennaat takes place on the eve of All Saints’ Day in France, just like Halloween. In Saarland, Germany it’s celebrated on November 11th, St. Martin’s Day. Children carve beets, just like turnips are carved for Halloween in Ireland.They also put a candle inside their carved beet. The Celtic immigrants who popularized Halloween in the US used native pumpkins to make jack-o-lanterns instead of turnips.
Just like Ireland and the US, in Moselle the carved beets are put in windows. Originally it was to frighten away evil spirits, but nowadays it’s to frighten people passing by!
1st Image: Illustrated by Monique Palomares
2nd Image: A traditional Irish turnip Jack-o’-lantern from the early 20th century. Photographed at the Museum of Country Life, Ireland by Rannpháirtí anaithnid cc 3.0.
This article was posted on Saturday, May 8th, 2021 at 8:31 pm and is filed under Celtic, Countries & Cultures, France, Germany, Halloween, Holidays Around the World, Ireland, Mama Lisa, Rommelbootzennaat (Night of The Grimacing Beets). You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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