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Easter in Germany

People around the world celebrate Easter in quite different ways and there are various traditions around the globe. Some other elements are fairly common though, for example painting Easter eggs, hiding them, and children hunting for them on Easter Sunday.

Easter fire (Photo courtesy eriwst)

One of the memories from when I was a kid are the huge Easter fires people light on the North Sea beaches. I did some online research and the practice of lighting Easter fires appear to be rather unique to Germany, as well as the Netherlands and some Northern European countries.

There are different explanations to the tradition. As a Christian rite, the fire represents Christ as the light of the world. Sometimes a Judas figure is burnt as well. As a pre-Christian fertility ritual, the fires were supposed to chase away the winter and its evil spirits.

Posted in Culture, Trivia.

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  1. Holidays in Germany - full list of German public holidays | GermanGlobe linked to this post on June 19, 2011

    […] Easter (Ostern) commemorates the crucifixion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. There are two holidays in Germany commemorating the event: The first is Good Friday (Karfreitag), the day of the crucifixion, and the second is Easter Monday (Ostermontag), the day after the resurrection. Easter Sunday itself is not listed as such, because it is on a Sunday and businesses remain closed anyways. Somewhat unique for Easter in Germany are the Easter fires. […]

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