Easter is a Christian Holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The bible says that he rose from the dead, three days after he was crucified by Romans. Nowadays, Easter is popular even by non-Christians and commercially important, too. A lot of customs and traditions were built around this holiday. We’ll introduce you to the most common Easter customs that are practised in Austria!
The Easter bunny is a folkloric figure and symbol of Easter. Parents tell their children that the Easter Bunny brings an Easter basket on Easter Sunday. Traditionally, this basket is filled with dyed hard-boiled eggs and sweet treats like chocolate eggs or rabbits. The children have to find their Easter Baskets that are hidden all over the house and garden.
Easter Eggs are another very popular symbol of Easter and for Christians they are a reminder that Jesus rose from the grave. There are many traditions built around Easter eggs. However, the most important one is that the dying and decorating of the eggs a few days before Easter.
Besides the Easter egg hunt on Easter Sunday, another popular custom is using them for an egg tapping contests: that’s a game where one participant holds a hard-boiled egg and taps the egg of another person with their own egg – without breaking it. The owner of the egg that’s still whole wins.
Easter eggs are also used for decorating branches of trees and brushes in the garden or hung on cut branches inside. Those eggs are either mouth-blown if they are handmade, or made of plastic if you buy them at a store.
The bible says that the crowd welcomed Jesus with palm branches when he came to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday (the Sunday before Easter). Due to the lack of palm branches, Austrians use pussy willows. They are blessed on Palm Sunday and then used for decorating one’s home.
In some catholic areas, especially in the countryside, all church bells stop chiming from Maundy Thursday to Holy/Black Saturday. Instead, children walk through the town making noises with instruments made from wood (the so called “Ratschen”) and reciting special poems.
Have you heard of all these customs before? Leave a comment and tell us how you celebrate Easter at your home!