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Easter (Ostern)

Easter is the most important celebration in the Christian faith. Easter is celebrated in remembrance of Christ's death on a cross, and His resurrection three days later. Its popularity, however, has been overshadowed by Christmas and is mostly celebrated only by Christians.

The Easter celebration begins with Good Friday and extends to Easter Monday, the day after Easter. Here we discuss some of the German traditions related to these days, with an emphasis, of course, on the food.

Good Friday

Good Friday is the day of Jesus Christ's death. On this day, what is known as "The Passion" took place: the procession, Christ nailed to the cross, and Christ's burial.

On Good Friday, Christians in Germany eat fish (no other kinds of meat). This is a very old tradition that goes back to the Greek word for fish - "Ichthys." This word is believed to represent the phrase "Iesus Christos Theos Yos Soter" because the beginning letters of each word (in bold) together make up the word "Ichthys." This phrase means "Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior." So, fish has become known as a symbol of Jesus Christ, Son of God, and Savior.

Easter Saturday

Easter Saturday is most often a quiet day used to prepare for the Easter celebration. Many people use this day to plan and prepare for the Easter meals and to bake an Easter Lamb and/or Easter Bunny cake. It is also a day to color Easter eggs for the children's Easter egg hunt on Sunday.

Easter Sunday

On Easter Sunday, it is tradition by many families in Germany to begin the Easter celebration by attending a church ceremony followed by a family breakfast or brunch. The breakfast table is beautifully decorated with fresh flowers, Easter decorations, matching tableware, and of course, plenty of food for everyone to enjoy. On the menu is often eggs, including some of the hard-boiled, painted Easter eggs, fruits and vegetables, bread rolls (Brötchen), fresh homemade cakes, carrot cake, various flavors of jam, cheese, and wurst.

In Germany, Easter Sunday is a day to be celebrated with the family. People get together, not just with the immediate family, but many relatives. Children search for Easter eggs that have been hidden in the house or yard, sing Easter songs, recite Easter tales, and hope for a present or two.

Easter Monday

Easter Monday is the last day of the Easter celebration and is a holiday in Germany. Like the entire Easter holiday, Easter Monday is a day to be spent with family. The entire family joins together for an Easter meal, where usually the Easter lamb is the focal point of the meal.





Easter Lamb
Photo: © Elena Schweitzer - Fotolia.com



Easter Foods
 
In Germany, each family has its own food traditions for the Easter celebrations. However, here we list some popular foods during Easter.
 
 
Baked Goods & Other Sweets
Osterhasen
Osterlamm
Chocolate in Easter Shapes
 






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