Easter is only days aways and if you have children in the house, there are likely eggs appearing in baskets guarded by happy bunnies decorating the household. Many homes will set aside some time to decorate Easter Eggs where they will eventually find their way into an egg salad or used as a hard-boiled snack later in the week.
In Germany, there are many other ways the Easter Egg breaks into the holiday festivities. The German word for Easter is Oster so you will see that often in the names of these activities. Here are a few I found.
Osterstrauch (eggs on twigs)- Prick a small hole on either side of a raw painted egg and carefully blow out the liquid insides. Hang with cheerful ribbons on a bush or tree.
Osterei Titschen (egg tapping) – Need two painted eggs and two players. Tap narrow ends together until one breaks. Then turn and do the same with the round ends. The egg that remains intact wins.
Osterei Schieben (egg roll) – Roll hard-boiled eggs down a grassy, sloped hill. Children can push their eggs with a stick if they are stuck. The egg that reaches the bottom of the hill first wins.
Egg Run – Balance a raw egg on a spoon and hurry 25 meters. The first to finish with an unbroken egg wins. (To make it more difficult, place the spoon in your mouth.)Egg Throw – make a sling-hot to hold a hard-boiled egg. Throw is as far as possible across a meadow with tall grass (for a soft landing). In Southern Austria, eggs are flung across a house and buried on the other side of it to bring good luck. German Easter Traditions – Germanfoods.org
The Osterstrauch is similar to the Ostereierbaum and the Osterstrauss. I actually found the Easter Egg Tree named with a number of variations. I think it may vary depending on what you are actually decorating with the eggs; twigs, bushes, pussy willows, or fruit trees.
The Kraft family in Saalfeld, Thuringia decorated their family apple tree for 50 years from 1965 to 2015. They started with 18 plastic eggs, but soon changed to mouth blown and hand-painted eggs. Since their tree grew larger each year, their quantity of eggs grew to over 10,000 eggs by 2012. In 2016, the eggs decorated a new tree in Schlosspark in Saalfeld. German Easter Customs, Facts & Traditions (germany-insider-facts.com)
While you are decorating with your eggs do not forget that Thursday is Grundonnerstag, or Maundy Thursday. Greinen is an old German word for mourning or crying, however it sounds like “Green Thursday” in German. So many people celebrate by eating green dishes on that day. You can make Seven Herb Soup Seven Herb Soup (Traditional) – Germanfoods.org, or green cake, Gruen Kuchen. Some meals also include green sauce, spinach, leeks, or other herbs. German Easter Traditions – Germanfoods.org