How Germans Celebrate Easter

With Easter coming up this weekend, I thought I’d share some insights into the Easter traditions here in Germany. One of my favorite things about living abroad is that I get to see how other people live, especially how other cultures celebrate holidays.

 

easter_celebration

I just had to include the cutest picture of Copley. Doesn’t she just look so happy?!

Growing up, Easter was not the biggest holiday, that award goes to Christmas easily. But we would get together with my aunt, uncle and cousins and my Mima to celebrate with a big meal and lots of wine. We don’t have the same meal every year, but it’s usually something like a ham with lots of sides, a beef tenderloin or spaghetti and meatballs. We’d have Easter egg hunts when I was little, but after age 10 we pretty much stopped those. My mom always gave us an Easter basket, like seriously up until like 24, and she would even hide them throughout the house and we’d have to find them with a scavenger hunt. She’s seriously talented with coming up with rhymes for the scavenger hunt. This is my biggest memory of Easter for sure. I love little traditions like that.

A lot of Easter celebrations are similar here in German, too. It is a pretty large holiday nationwide. Schools are closed, banks are closed and no one has to go to work on Good Friday or the Monday after Easter, or Easter Monday. The Saturday before Easter is a huge day! People head to the grocery store like the Apocalypse is coming, Easter markets are everywhere and bakeries are flooded with people hoping to score an Easter “lamb,” which is a cake in the shape of a lamb.

For decorations, Germans love “Osternbaum” or an Easter tree where they hang eggs on tree leaves like the picture below or around a well like the picture above. I love this tradition because the eggs are so beautiful and full of bright colors. These trees are everywhere and they just make me so happy.

 

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On Easter Sunday, most Germans go to a church service and then have a large, celebratory lunch with family. The typical German Easter dish is Maultaschen, which is a German ravioli or tortellini with large noodles filled with meat, usually, and with spinach. Legend has it that German monks came up with Maultaschen as a way to hide meat from God during Lent. Sneaky Germans.

 

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For children, Easter egg hunts are very popular and Easter baskets from the Easter bunny are given on Sunday morning. The baskets are usually filled with little chocolates and most likely a Kinder überraschung or a child, chocolate surprise. Kinder is a brand of chocolate that fills a chocolate egg with a toy. They are illegal in the United States because of the potential chocking hazards from the toy inside, so naturally we had to buy some. I’ll share picture of our surprise on my Instagram once we eat them!

Overall, German Eastern and American Easter are pretty similar. We are all Christians celebrating the day Jesus rose from the dead. I am really looking forward to celebrating Easter this year here in Germany and am looking forward to seeing what the day will bring!

How are you celebrating Easter?

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