Celebrating Easter in Germany ("Ostern") is a journey through time that arouses the senses, both spiritually and physically.
Although the preparation starts many weeks before the actual Easter Day, the main event starts on the Thursday before Easter and continues through the weekend. Food is a main part of this!
The Thursday before Easter is known as "Gruendonnerstag" or "Green Thursday." Here, the custom is to eat green foods such as soups made with spinach, leeks, and parsley.
On the following day, Good Friday, known as "Karfreitag", the main meal is usually some kind of fish dish.
Then, it's Easter, "Osten." Traditionally, the meat is roasted lamb, served with asparagus and potatoes. Of course, other meats can be served. As a treat, rouladen and potato dumplings are offered, served along with spring peas and carrots.
Easter desserts often feature eggs and bunnies - in decorations. A lamb-shaped cake is common, but it’s always right to serve traditional German tortes. A Hazelnut Torte is a treat, as is the famous Black Forest Cake.
Since the Easter Egg and Easter Bunny seem to have originated in Germany, much is seen of this in decorations throughout the country.
Ostermarkt (Easter Market) are in many towns, selling decorated eggs, chocolates, bunnies, flowers, spring ornaments, and Easter crafts. These are greatly wanted because the houses and gardens are widely decorated, especially with eggs.
A beautiful German Easter tradition is the Osterstrauch. This is a branch or small tree decorated with hollowed-out eggs. The raw eggs are prepared by poking pinholes at each end of the shell and blowing the contents out (saving the egg yolk and egg white mixture for Easter baking).
Allowed to dry out, the egg shells are then dyed and hand painted.
These eggs are hung with ribbons on the branchesof trees either hung from the ceiling or put into vases.
Outside, eggs are hung on the trees too. These eggs are usually made from plastic or wood.
On Good Friday, the beginning of the religious activities start, with church services remembering the crucifixion of Jesus.
Sometimes there are prayer services in the churches starting on Saturday evening and continuing until dawn on Easter Sunday.
At church, Easter Sunday, the resurrection of Jesus is celebrated. This, after all, is the reason for Easter. Now, once home, it’s time to enjoy the Easter dinner recipes that have been prepared.
For more information about Easter in Germany (as well as in other parts of the world), visit my friends at Divine Dinner Party and check out the fun Easter party ideas.
Whether you are celebrating Easter in Germany or you have decided to have a traditional German Easter elsewhere in the world, start with the decorations, plan your menu from the recipes, bake and cook, and then enjoy the day with your family and friends.
"For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son (Jesus), so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16 (NLT)
Do you have a favorite recipe? If it's quick and simple, why not share it with us? Perhaps it's a traditional German recipe you've changed in order to make it easier? Or an Italian recipe that you've altered and given a German twist?
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Debra W. says, “We will be having this tomorrow night for a GERMAN FEAST ... Yummy.”
Virginia B says, “I made the Sauerbraten last night for dinner. Along with the fried potatoes, spatzle and red cabbage. Everything turned out great, love your recipe. Now I am turning it into soup tonight, adding my favorite kitchen pal Maggi. Thank you for the goulash recipe also, can’t waith to make that this week. :)”
Brenda S. says, “Thank you. I have been looking for this one for a long time. This is an awesome cake.”
Shantel Y. says, "Took this to German Fest and everyone loved it."
Isabelle M., says, "Wow! I made this last night and OMG what a delicious meal! With red cabbage it was just amazing. Thank you! Will certainly do this again and the sauce just adds so much flavor to the dish."