Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Easter Tree - Der Osterbaum

A German custom every Easter is to take fresh cut branches from a tree and place them in your home and decorate the branches with Easter eggs. Or decorate a tree or bush outside your home like this man here. The result is your very own der Osterbaum. In shops all around Germany you can buy fresh cut, bundles of branches. Please feel free to cut your own from your own trees. Neighbors tend to not like people sawing away on trees in their yards. Just a little advice from me to you.

Here is our first attempt at der Osterbaum. When my husband came in and saw the tree he said, "Hey! My mom used to do the same thing when I was little!"

I don't think he realized that it was a German custom. I think he thought his mom was really crafty and ahead of her time. Let's give him the benefit of the doubt, shall we? 

The proper way to do der Osterbaum is to blow your own eggs, like this, and then hand paint them. Or you can buy plastic eggs and string them up. When I searched the stores for plastic eggs, stamped on the back of every one was "Made In China." Um... I didn't come all the way to frickin' Germany to buy plastic eggs that were Made In China. But I really wasn't in the mood to blow my own eggs either. So I headed off to the very beautiful, very expensive German store of hand-made crafts and invested in 13 hand blown and hand painted by-a-real-live-German Easter eggs. 

Not bad, huh?

My husband was none-to-happy to hear what these German Easter eggs cost. Needless to say, I could have probably bought 75 dozen regular, non hand-blown, non hand-painted by-a-real-live-German eggs. What can I say? You want that authentic Handmade In Germany stamp? You're gonna pay for it.

The Easter Bunny, or der Osterhase, actually derives from ancient Germany. The early pagans of this area saw all the rabbits, who were usually nocturnal animals, start running around during the day and propagating like crazy right around their festivals celebrating the ancient pagan goddess of spring and fertility, Eostre. That's pretty much how rabbits became associated with Easter. 

So every time you bite into a delicious chocolate rabbit at Easter, thank those early German settlers who came to America and brought with them their symbols of early pagan goddess worship. Mmm... pagan worship tastes good.

I have loved walking around in Germany and seeing all the little bushes with eggs blowing in the wind tied to them. Easter is a big deal in Germany. They celebrate the whole week before (Holy Week), and they also get Good Friday and Easter Monday off from work. I had never heard of Easter Monday before I moved here. I am apologizing now for living such a sheltered life in America.

I think the idea of Easter Monday is great! Everybody needs an extra day to look for chocolate eggs and jelly beans and then eat these same chocolate eggs and jelly beans. In Germany, they usually have a big dinner on Easter Sunday and Easter Monday. Let's hear it for Germany!

And what goes better with hand-painted eggs than a German table runner with Easter eggs on it? This wasn't hand sewn, but it was made in a German factory. Good enough I think.

Wishing you a Happy Easter or Frohe Ostern or a Happy Pagan Goddess Worship Ceremony. Whatever floats your boat!



*Enjoyer of all treats deemed pagan and non-pagan alike.


  1. Love this post! I especially liked the part about it being a German custom and the part about your husband and his crafty mom. He, he he!

    The eggs are beautiful!

  2. Coming from an American family with roots so deep it's impossible to tell where we came from (aside from Northern Europe, which I assume because of my complete inability to tan properly) this isn't just a German tradition. We did this every year when I was growing up.

  3. Next year I'll have to host an Easter egg decorating party and show you how easy it is to blow out and decorate your own eggs. My German friends taught me! And I'm not the slightest bit crafty...

  4. Do Germans have Chocolate Bunnies and bite the ears off first? Just curious.

  5. the eggs were worth every cent you paid for them!


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