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Ostereierbaum / Easter Egg Tree

Happy Easter everybody! Holidays like Easter are great because they showcase just how eclectic American folklore traditions have become. Because I grew up in Western Pennsylvania, I sometimes take foregranted the unique traditions carried out by my neighbors. Some of them are very strange indeed – like decorating a tree with plastic Easter eggs. So I was very surprised when meine Tante shared a picture of a decked out tree that she spotted on a trip to Garmisch!  It turns out that this is an old German tradition! Nobody knows exactly why it began, but eggs are a symbol of life all over the world. The trees around our house are nowhere near as impressive as this one, and in fact the world record belongs to the Rostock Zoo, which in April 2007 decorated a red oak with 79,596 blown and painted eggs!!! 

We do not have a tree in our front yard, but if we did I would totally decorate it, with the help of the kids of course. The boys are eagerly awaiting the goodies brought by the Easter bunny, or Osterhase, who originated with German Lutherans as a symbol of fertility and a judge of whether kids have been well behaved or not…sounds like Santa Claus! 😉

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