Frohe Ostern – Easter Greetings From Germany

Every spring, Osterbrunnen — or Easter fountains — herald spring’s return to Germany’s Franconia (Franken) region. Wells and fountains in town centers are dressed with boxwood cuttings, ribbons, and delicately-painted pastel eggs. This custom celebrates water’s life-giving properties.

The decorations typically spring up one week before Easter Sunday and then grace the fountains for a week thereafter, lending colorful accents to cobbled lanes and village centers that have been slumbering during the grey and frigid winter season.

In preparation for this long Easter weekend, my mother and I swung by her favorite Ansbach bakery last week, tucked away in the small city’s Altstadt (old town).

Though dogs are beloved in Germany and are often seen accompanying their masters into department stores, cafés, and restaurants, a sign outside the bakery indicated that my parents’ Maltese pup, Gigi, had to remain outside while we loaded up the wicker basket with baked German goodies. In such establishments where dogs are verboten, there are hooks outside onto which furry friends’ lines can be tethered while the Hund’s owner is inside shopping.

Eager to be showered with morsels of meat and biscuits from benevolent German shopkeepers – as Gigi and her canine sister, Meg, typically are when accompanying my mother on shopping errands – Gigi was decidedly unhappy that she had to remain outside – far from the culinary treats. Here’s hoping that you’re having a happier Easter and celebration of spring’s return! :)

“We must stay outside.”

Where in the World?

Photography & text © Tricia A. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.

Published by Tricia A. Mitchell

Tricia A. Mitchell is a freelance writer and photographer. Born in Europe but raised in the United States, she has lived in Valletta, Malta; Heidelberg, Germany; and Split, Croatia. An avid globetrotter who has visited more than 65 countries, she has a penchant for off-season travel. Tricia has learned that travel’s greatest gift is not sightseeing, rather it is the interactions with people. Some of her most memorable experiences have been sharing a bottle of champagne with distant French cousins in Lorraine, learning how to milk goats in a sleepy Bulgarian village, and ringing in the Vietnamese New Year with a Hanoi family. She welcomes any opportunity to practice French and German, and she loves delving into a place’s history and artisanal food scene. A former education administrator and training specialist, Tricia has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in international relations. She and her husband, Shawn, married in the ruins of a snowy German castle. They’ve been known to escape winter by basing themselves in coastal Croatia or Southeast Asia. Her writing has appeared in Fodor’s Travel, Frommer’s, and International Living.

10 thoughts on “Frohe Ostern – Easter Greetings From Germany

    1. Was it ever a big jump to the land of order! :) Though we’re missing dodging cows and auto rickshaws now, it’s delightful to be back with my parents and friends – until we embark on leg two of our sabbatical. Here’s hoping you had a lovely spring weekend. Those blossoms on your most recent post are lovely!

    1. Hi, Marina! We’re temporarily back to the land of consistent connectivity, so it means more consistent postings of many of the tales I’ve wanted to share. Such a contrast Germany is with the other lands we’ve traveled through… So, what special Eastern European traditions did you follow for Easter? It’s time I consult your blog! Nice to connect again. :)

      1. Will you be dyeing eggs this weekend? My great-grandmother (who was of Eastern European ancestry) used to color eggs using natural ingredients (purple onion peel, etc.) I think this might have been common in Russia too?

        We’re back ‘home’ for a few weeks but then flitting on to the next flower, so to speak. Not sure where we’re off to next, but it’s exciting!

        Loved your California shots, Marina! It seems both of our cameras are suffering overuse fatigue. :)

    1. They’re lovely – it’s exactly what my Lithuanian-American great grandmother used to do… So happy you shared the project so that I can also give it a whirl and remember my Oma!

      Don’t let you camera nap too long. :) Happy Easter celebrations this weekend!

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