Osterfeuer

An Osterfeuer is a bonfire that is lit on the evening of Easter Saturday, usually in connection with a Church service.

Different parts of Germany associate the fire with different traditions.  In Bavaria it is also called the Judasfeuer and a straw figure, similar to a guy, is burnt upon the fire representing Judas Iscariot.  In Westfalia it is said to banish the winter.

Some churches have a candle-light service on Saturday evening rather than a fire.

To hear a simple explanation and a short discussion in German, listen to the podcast:

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Osterhase

Osterhase is the name given in Germany to the Easter Bunny.

The tradition, which dates back to the 17th Century, says that the Osterhase decorates eggs at Easter and hides them in people’s gardens, although the practise became more common in the 20th Century.

Children go out into the garden on Easter Sunday and look for the eggs.

To hear a simple explanation and a short discussion in German, listen to the podcast:

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Osterei

An Osterei is an Easter Egg, and can refer to different types of eggs.  There are boiled eggs that have been coloured, blown-out egg-shells that have been decorated, and chocolate eggs that often have fillings inside them.

As in many countries, the eggs represent the spring and fertility, and is a tradition that goes back to the 13th Century, even though the term “Osterei” was probably first used in the 17th Century.

Many people hang decorated eggs on twigs in their front gardens.

To hear a simple explanation and a short discussion in German, listen to the podcast:

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