Monday, 6 April 2009

Frohe Ostern! Happy Easter!

Easter is coming up and we seem to be the only house on our street without an Osterstreuch in our garden. No, not an ostrich! An Osterstreuch is a bush or tree decorated with coloured eggs hanging from it, for example, this is one of our neighbours':

Why do they do this? I don't know. Keine Ahnung! But it's very charming and part of the whole Easter festival thing that goes on here in Germany. Back in the UK we had hot cross buns and lots of chocolate Easter eggs for sure, but here it is taken to a higher degree. The shops are crammed with wooden Easter bunny figures, egg-painting and dyeing kits, grass for making egg nests, fluffy toy chickens, rabbit-shaped cakes, and so on. And it is all so homely and arts-and-crafty; Cadburyite commercialism gets hardly a look-in.
Another tradition is Easter bonfires, with music and fireworks; and Basdorf apparently has the largest in Brandenburg. Where JC comes into it all, I'm not sure, but aren't really bothered. For kids or kids-at-heart it is all purely magical, and like Christmas the Germans seem to do it so much better. Wish I was ten again!
Heathen pagans the lot of them? Oh yes! And come Walpurgisnacht on the eve of Beltaine (1st of May) I expect more of the same (they had a Best Witch contest and pageant last year).


  1. Delurking here. I am SO enjoying your blog. I'm an American Anglophile with German origins.

    We lived in the UK for a year (1999-2000), and I was amazed at how difficult it was to find Easter egg dyeing kits in the shops. I finally found one in a craft shop. Admittedly, we lived in a county town, not London.

    Loved the photos of your latest trip also.

  2. Wow, so somebody actually READS my blog!?!?

    I'm sure it is a whole lot easier to get egg dyeing kits in Washington DC than anywhere in England. It's the English you see, a miserable bunch on the whole who can't let go of the reins and behave like kids again (or even let their kids behave like kids).

    Anyway, hope you continue reading this blog by someone finding mystery and awe in the world again (a second childhood you might say. Or mid-life crisis - not sure which yet!)


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