Easter Egg Decorations in Germany

We have just returned from a visit to my hometown in Franconia (northern Bavaria). In those rural parts of Germany, where traditions and customs are still more present, we passed by some interesting Easter decorations in the middle of the villages.

Our first stop was in Zeilitzheim to buy some wine from Wein von 3.

Our second stop was in Schonungen, where we rented a vacation apartment at Ferienwohnung Gräf for two days.

Another stop was in the village of Hambach, where I grew up, and we went to visit my parents’ grave.

This tradition is a beautiful spring marker, and I hope there will always be enough volunteers to continue this.

No Online banking at Dresdner and Commerzbank at Easter Weekend 2011

Many of you might already know, the Dresdner Bank AG merged with Commerzbank a while ago. To finish the fusion successfully, all IT related programs are going to be combined during Easter Break.

Therefore, Commerzbank will deny access to online banking, cash draft and all other services from April 22 to April 25, 2011 (Good Friday till Easter Monday).

Please make sure you will have enough cash on hand during this time or for your upcoming vacation.  You will be unable to withdraw cash in Europe or abroad from April 22 to April 25.

No EC-card (debit card) use is possible during this period.

A bit more about this Notice of Technical Maintenance is on their website Commerzbank.

Easter bunnies in Germany

The Osterhase (Easter bunny) I spotted at the local Edeka Supermarket must be the biggest edible one I have ever seen. It is about 40 cm (16″) in height, weighs 1 KG (2.2 lbs) and costs a stately 39 euro.

Of course, it is made by the Swiss chocolate maker Lindt and for a better idea how big this bunny really is, see Lindt’s website showing a girl holding one in her arms.

Pounds of chocolate sitting on the shelf

This is not an advertisement, I do not even care for chocolate all that much. But I bet you won’t feel like hopping once you have devoured this life size Easter bunny. Has a bit of a touch of Super Size Me German style! Morgan Spurlock, I invite you to come to Germany around Easter time.

Gründonnerstag

Gründonnerstag is the German name for Maundy Thursday.  It is the day before Karfreitag.

On this day, people go to Church to be freed of their sins in order to make a “clean” start for Easter, thus leading to one explanation of the name: the idea is that “green wood” is said to be fresh.

Another reason for the name may be that it is the end of the fasting season, and people used to eat mainly vegetables on this day.

It is a normal working day, although many people do take the day off to go away for a long weekend.

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

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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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