How Easter Celebrated 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.
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