Happy Easter from this cute bunny! Brock’s first Easter basket had funny faced eggs and sport ball designed eggs filled with cereal puffs, a rubber bunny, a toy lamb that sings in German, and two things I plan to continue each year—a Classic Disney DVD and swim trunks to start the summer season. This year Brock got The Rescuers & The Rescuers Down Under, and his trunks have fish and a giant octopus.
This was the fourth or fifth basket he got for Easter thanks to the United States Postal Service and our loving friends and family ;). After Brock was fully engrossed in playing with his new treats Fil and I opened our Easter Kinder eggs to find minion (Disney’s Despicable Me) toys. We died the eggs that I boiled yesterday and had a nice day at home.
As with the other holidays we have experienced so far, Germany goes all out for Easter. Everything (groceries, restaurants etc.) closed for Good Friday, Easter Sunday, and Easter Monday. I wish I would have known this earlier, but we figured it out pretty early on Friday and ended up at the Commissary buying frozen pizzas to get us through the weekend. Don’t worry, I already had salmon for Easter in the freezer so at least we got one good meal this weekend. Almost all the meat at the commissary is expired (and still at full price) and they are always out of vegetables so when push comes to shove and we absolutely have to shop there we stick to frozen pizza.
But anyways, far before Easter weekend villages host Easter Markets (Ostermarkts). Unlike the Christmas markets that are open for weeks, these markets are only held over the course of one weekend—or in some villages one day. We missed quite a few of the markets because we were sick but we did make it to two.
I went to Trier with Brock during the week for a very small market which was quite disappointing, and then over the weekend we all went to Sankt Wendell which was much better. One thing I did learn in Trier is that a lot of the Easter candy has alcohol in it. Next year when Brock is old enough for candy I will really have to watch what we give him!
Sankt Wendell is known for hosting some of the best holiday markets in Germany. There were about 100 stalls spread out in the Zentrum around the church. Also, there was one alley set up so children could learn older crafts like carving stone, making dowels, horseshoes and swords. The shopping stalls were the same wooden stalls used for Christmas but decorated with eggs :). Many of the stalls were selling Easter decorations—Germans love to decorate! A lot of the homes in our neighborhood have eggs hanging from the bushes and ornamental trees in their yard. The man across the street has his lit up with multi colored LED lights.
For us, the best part of the market was getting another chimney cake. We got one at the small Christmas market at the Air Force Base and loved it so it was a treat to find them again. Chimney cakes are a traditional Hungarian treat and they are AMAZING! The dough is wrapped around a wooden dowel and then fired over wood flames. They are shaken off of the dowel and sprinkled with cinnamon & sugar and eaten hot. Smoke literally pipes out of the funnel cake like a chimney. The wood firing flavor is really what makes these treats delicious.
One draw for Sankt Wendell’s market are the Peter Cottontail displays that form the inner circle around the church. They were maybe 6′ long boxes showing Peter and his friends getting ready for Easter.
The main market square had the traditional Osterbrunnen (Easter Fountain) with hundreds of eggs sewn together to make long garlands which are draped over a green base. I read that this is an old tradition to celebrate the importance of water as the giver of life.
I am really bummed that we missed the other markets that I wanted to go to. The ones we made it two were nice, but I didn’t get to see any of the artistically painted eggs shown below. I really wanted to go to the Kloster (monestary) that hosts the first market and features 80+ egg painting artists from across Europe. Next year I guess. As bummed as I am that we missed so much, it will be better next year since Brock will really know what is going on.
Happy Easter everyone!