I don’t know how you’re celebrating Easter, but from what I read on other blogs, most festivities concentrate on Easter Sunday. Here in Germany it’s a bit different. Easter celebrations start one week before the actual Easter weekend on Palm Sunday.
On Palm Sunday we celebrate the day when Jesus came to Jerusalem and was greated by the people who waved palm leaves.
We make small bouquets with catkins, hyacinths and branches from the box tree. It’s the Bavarian version of palm leaves, as the original trees don’t grow around our area.
We take them to church on Palm Sunday to have them sanctified. My mom told me that some people that some years ago people would have quite big bouquets who are used afterwards as a Easter bush which is put up in the house and decorated with eggs, very similar to Easter trees…
Palm Sunday marks the beginning of the last week of lent. It’s a normal working week except for Good Friday which is a Holiday here.
On Thursday people who are protestant can take the day off to celebrate the Last Supper. Regardless of religious believe all shop, bars, restaurants and clubs must close by midnight.
On Friday, which is a National Holiday in all of Germany, only shops like bakeries or gas stations may open if they have special admittance. The churches hold prayers in remembrance of the Stations of the Cross. Many churches offer special prayers for children and young people. Then in the evening there’s the big prayer by the Pope who holds a Stations of the Cross around the Collosseum in Rome. This is broadcasted life in TV.
Also from Good Friday till Easter Sunday the bells of all churches don’t ring.
Holy Saturday is a half Holiday. Most shops open so people can stock supplies, but are most likely to close by midday. When I was a kid Holy Saturday would be used to paint the eggs and it still is, though we don’t paint as many eggs…
Either in the evening of Holy Saturday or before sunrise on Easter Sunday will be the big mass to celebrate the resurrection. Then normally all the family members gather for a big breakfast and the egg hunt.
This year, I spent Easter Sunday with my boyfriend’s family where we also went to mass in the morning. It’s kind of hard to get up at 4 am when it’s still pitch black outside, but while you’re in church you can see and hear the day arriving and this is an unpayable expierence… After mass we had a huge breakfast and did a small egg hunt. Given the fact that there were no small kids present we kept it to a total minimum.
I got a chocolate rabbit, chocolate eggs some soap and a cd…
After lunch we drove to my parents’ house to prepare for Easter Monday. This is also a Holiday in Germany. It was our turn to host the big get together of my dad’s siblings. So we spent Easter Sunday (quite unholy ;-)) preparing food and the rooms for Monday:
Monday was a total success. We spent the whole day eating and I was so busy I totally forgot to take any more photos than these two above (which I actually took on Sunday evening). Sorry for that.
But I really enjoyed seeing all the family again. I hope you had a nice Easter weekend as well and I’d love to know what you’re doing or if you have any special customs… Thanks for reading…