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Ostereierbaum Tradition, Germany


When we moved to Germany, three things I worked hard on was learning to speak the language, understanding their culture, and how to be a good neighbor.  Learning their traditions is also paramount with blending in.  There are many new traditions we learned, but during Easter they have Ostereierbaum, which is the Easter Egg Tree Tradition and I understand it started in the mid 20th century.

Easter Egg Branches 2Easter Egg Branches 3

Basically, it consists of hanging colored Easter eggs, usually with colorful ribbons from a tree or branch inside or outside the home or both.  Inside the home it is best in front of the window for neighbors to see.  The eggs can be painted empty shells or sometimes ceramic.  Now the trick for branches is to obtain a big corkscrew type branchlike from the Pussy Willow.  We noticed that the branches were sold in many stores as Easter approached.

Easter Egg Branches 4

Easter Egg Branches

Another good idea is to add ceramic eggs to a sapling tree in the very front of your yard.  Ceramic eggs are more durable outside.  With the branch in hand, you have to find the fragile, painted eggshells.  Many gift shops will have them, but we found buying them from locals who sell them at farmer’s markets or on city streets had the more authentic styles and colors.  The Germans were not big on having the colors all match or blend in, so just get the ones that strike your fancy.

Easter Window Denmark

We brought the tradition back with us to our home in Virginia, but apparently this tradition has been spreading far and wide.  Also, it is appropriate to hang a few decorations on the branch or tree besides the colorful eggs, but these should be kept to a minimum.  I took a number of photos in homes, a store (Frohe Ostern means Happy Easter), and at the Strahlenburg Castle.

Strahlenburg Castle

Our son and family in Denmark use their tradition of making handmade Easter cutouts that hang from branches inside the home.  My wife and I actually started an Easter Egg Hunt on the farm where our grandkids and other kids lived and it flourished for quite a few years.

Frohe Ostern

So, get your corkscrew branches and get the kids coloring egg shells and hanging them on the branch in your large front windows for all to see.  From research, I found the record for the largest Ostereierbaum display is actually in Brazil where a pecan tree was decorated with 82,404 hen eggs.


Images (7)
  • Easter Egg Branches 2
  • Easter Egg Branches 3
  • Easter Egg Branches 4
  • Easter Egg Branches
  • Easter Window Denmark
  • Frohe Ostern
  • Strahlenburg Castle

George G

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