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Easter Celebrations in Germany

Many people attend special Easter services. Celebrating Easter in Germany is more than visiting church, Easter egg hunts, brunches and nice hats. Below is an overview of Germanic Easter and springtime customs and traditions.

How Easter Celebrated in Germany

One of the most popular Easter traditions in Germany is the Easter egg hunt, known as "Eiersuchen." Children decorate eggs with colorful designs and patterns, and then hide them around the house or in the garden. The children then have to find the hidden eggs, which are often filled with candy or small toys. Another tradition is the Easter tree, or "Osterbaum," which is a tree decorated with painted eggs, ribbons, and other ornaments. It is a common sight in many German towns and cities during the Easter season, and adds to the festive atmosphere.

Easter celebrations in Germany

The German call it Óstern, possibly by the name of the Anglo Saxon goddess of spring, Eostre. School children have about three weeks holiday at Easter. No one works on Good Friday, Easter Saturday and Easter Sunday.

The real German fun is the Easter fire wheel run, performed in the night before Easter. When the rest of the world is content with a stationary, standard fire, Germans stuff a lot of hay or straw on a large wooden wheel, light it up, and then roll it down the slope of a hill. Fiery spectacular! As we would call it!

Note that by custom, dances are not allowed on Good Friday. However, no one has ever gone to check whether it is followed.

Germans generally eat a lot of leafy greens on Maundy Thursday, which includes the famous green sauce of Frankfurt. This is because Maundy Thursday is called Gründonnerstag in German, and grün, which means green, is an integral part of the word. Different regions of this great country has different green dishes for the day, like the Grüner Kuchen (“green cake”), a savory leek yeasted cake from Hesse.

Osterbrunnen in Heiligenstadt, Germany

Many people eat fish on Good Friday and on Easter Saturday evening there is often a big Easter bonfire. This is very popular and lots of people gather to watch. These Easter fires are burnt as a symbol to the end of the winter and any bad feelings.

On Easter Sunday families have nice breakfasts together. Parents then hide Easter baskets with sweets, eggs and small presents. Hand-painted eggs decorated with traditional designs are exchanged among friends. Earlier, it was customary in many regions for the village girls to present their suitors with a red egg.

German Easter Traditions and Celebrations

Easter celebrations in other European countries

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