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Easter in Vienna!
Ash Wednesday ends frisky carnival season and introduces 40 days of fasting which preced Easter. The actual date of Easter varies every year, depending on the date of the first day of spring and on the full moon: Easter sunday is the first sunday after the first full moon in spring. Sounds complicated? Check the date in your calendar!
Palm Sunday introduces Holy Week ('Karwoche'). Twigs of sallow are taken to church and blessed to commemorate the public appearance of Jesus in Jerusalem.
Easter fires are lit during the night before Easter Sunday. People meet around the fire to sing and dance. The more agile and adventerous actually jump over the fire.
Easter bunny and Palm Sunday
On Easter Sunday fasting comes officially
to an end. What an excellent excuse for a traditional Easter
brunch with sweet bread ('Osterpinze'), cold meat, coloured
eggs and horseradish.
As a tradition for kids, colourful Easter eggs, sweets and small presents are hidden in the house or - if the weather allows - in the garden by a mythological Easter bunny. There's also a delicious pastry in the form of a lamb ('Osterlamm'), which is traditionally given to the kids by their godfather or godmother.
Let's talk about Easter eggs! There's two kinds, both of them colourful: decorative and yummy Easter eggs. For decorative Easter eggs we paint, colour or glitter eggs, which we have carefully blown out before. Afterwards, we hang them into the window, on plants or foliating twigs of sallow ('Palmkatzerln'). Yummy Easter eggs are boiled before colouring. In Austria it is very common to use ferns and small flowers as patterns: Take an old silk stocking to attach the ferns to the egg and remove after colouring.