3 Things You Should Not Do on Good Friday in Germany

Social Media in Germany is full of debates again about our Good Friday (Karfreitag) rules, and what we can do and not do. In general, Good Friday is just one of a few public holidays, when silence needs to be observed. See Wiki for a list of ‘Quiet Holidays in Germany’.

The quiet days vary from state to state, and the state of Berlin seems to be the most relaxed about its Feiertagsruhe.

The following public places will be closed to observe this rule of silence:

Discos, clubs, sport events, open markets, circuses, fairs, theatres, opera houses, game centers, promotional events;

On a personal level, you may not:

  1. Dance to any kind of music in the public
  2. Wash your car
  3. Move to another location

… and if you are in Bavaria, you should most definitely not air out your bedding on Good Friday.

On a personal note, many years ago, we had traveled to northern Bavaria to visit my side of the family. We stayed at my brother’s house, and I saw the need for a good shake of the bedding which had not been used for many months. A neighbor chided me from across the street, “Maria, das macht man doch nicht am Karfreitag! Das bringt den Tod ins Haus!” (Don’t do this on Good Friday, it will bring death into your home!) I gave the bedding a final shake, and brought it in.

This was so strange after having just moved here from a country like Japan, where so many things are 24/7, and religious beliefs become a medley on holidays anyway.

There is little more contradictory than superstitious beliefs from pious country folk on Good Friday.

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 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:

(Press the “play” button to listen to the podcast)

Download a transcript

Download the MP3 file | Subscribe to the podcast

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