Frohe Ostern from your Local Workldwide Relocation team!

Frohe Ostern-that’s German for Happy Easter.

Over the past few weeks, vibrant Easter and Spring decorations have popped up alongside warmer temperatures throughout the city. In addition to Church services celebrated throughout the country, families and friends will gather during this time and often travel over the holiday weekend. School children typically have a 2-week spring break before or after the Easter holiday (the vacation periods vary between the various federal states)

The German official federal or bank holidays include Good Friday, Karfreitag in German, and Easter Monday.

Homes typically are decorated with spring colors and an Easter Tree known as an Osterbaum. They are traditionally made from the branches of pussy willows or flowering shrubs, which are then decorated with painted eggs-some are wooden and others have been blown out. Kids might enjoy reading Frits Koch-Gotha’s ‘Die Hasenschule’ and engaging in the tradition of dyeing eggs to embellish a baked Easter wreath, known as an Otserkranz. Many families also cherish the tradition of decorating with small, handmade wooden figures, such as rabbits from one of Erzgebirge’s woodwork shops. On Easter morning, children eagerly search for a delightful array of goodies, ranging from Haribo gummy eggs and delectable chocolate bunnies to an assortment of charming surprises.

Throughout many towns, the timeless tradition of Easter bonfires is still upheld. On the Saturday before Easter as well as Easter Sunday (and sometimes even as the month of May approaches) cities will host an Osterfeuer. A bonfire in which piles of wood are collected and set on fire. Communities gather to celebrate the end of winter and the start of spring. Bonfires may include music as well as festive food and drink. One popular treat is Stockbrot, where children wrap yeast-based bread dough around sticks to roast over the fire. A tip for expats: If there’s a nearby bonfire, be sure to close your windows well before sunset on the day of the fire to avoid the lingering smell.

Some German towns also hold Easter markets in weeks or week leading up to Easter. These markets will typically sell handmade easter decorations and allow visitors to sample local and regional cuisine.

If you are new to Germany, you will want to note that all stores will be closed on Good Friday and Easter Monday. I always try to do any shopping I need the Wednesday before the holiday to avoid lengthy checkout lines and items simply being sold out on Thursday or Saturday. The atmosphere is some larger supermarkets rivals Corona Pandemic competition for flour and toilet paper—to be avoided when possible.

The Local Worldwide Relocation Teams hopes that this post provides glimpse into the Easter traditions in Germany and we wish you a delightful Easter weekend!

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