Holidays Around the World: Easter in Germany

As a Christian holiday, Easter has major significance in Germany and is one of the most important holidays of the year- both Good Friday and Easter Monday are public holidays. Beside the church services and ceremonies, another tradition is to hardboil or blow out and color eggs on Good Friday for the celebrations to come. The eggs are symbolic of new life, and the colors used are meant to represent sunshine and growth. There is probably no child in Germany who has never colored an egg at Easter!
Around this time of the year Ostermärkte (Easter Markets) pop up, selling crafts and treats of the season. Many of the common Easter symbols are German in origin and represent symbols of fertility, such as the egg (Ei) and the Osterhase (Easter bunny). Other common symbols include the Osterbaum (Easter tree) branches decorated with wreaths and eggs and the Osterbrunnen (Easter fountain or well) found in the Franconia region of Germany, celebrating the special powers of water blessed on Easter Sunday.
Many follow the tradition eating fish on Good Friday. If you aren’t a fish fan you can eat anything else of course – but traditionally efforts are made to not eat meat dishes on this day. When it gets dark and some younger people may be getting ready to go out there is one thing to remember: On Good Friday there is a dance ban in effect in many regions of Germany.
Easter Sunday and Easter Monday are spent with families gathering to talk, laugh, attend church services and eat of course. The traditional Easter lunch consists of Lamb, Potatoes, fresh vegetables and home baked cake. In addition, children conduct Easter hunts for small gifts that their parents hide along with the colored eggs – a nice tradition and always a big fun for everybody!
Frohe Ostern aus Deutschland!