German Easter traditions

From decorations to sweet treats

Rhein-Sieg-Kreis. Germans in the region use a variety of symbols to celebrate Easter.

What would Easter be without the proper decorations? This year items made of natural materials are in vogue, says Mirco Herlth. Together with his colleague Rebekka Schmitz, he is responsible for decorative purchasing at the garden centre Pflanzen Breuer in Sankt Augustin.

"Rabbits or eggs made of mango wood or concrete are popular," says Herlth. "Everything that is very straightforward, simple or natural". Decorations in pastel colours also go down well, but bold colours, on the other hand, are not so much in favour.

Live, but nevertheless not pure rabbits can be found with Heinz Josef Schneider. The Rheinbach resident breeds a special type of rabbit called "Hasen" (hares). The chairman of the rabbit breeding association R250 Swisttal-Morenhoven currently has ten adults and 20 young with three different coloured coats. The breed gets its name from the rabbits’ behaviour.

"In the fields they act like a hare," Schneider explains. They line up and are more lively than their fellow rabbits. "That is the special feature of this breed”. He has been breeding rabbits of various species since 1985.

In addition to the Easter bunny, the lamb also plays a big part in Easter celebrations for many people, as the Christian symbolic figure par excellence. At Easter, sweet varieties are produced in great quantities at Café Schlimbach in Bad Honnef-Aegidienberg. The recipe used by master confectioner Martin Heimbach is as old as the baking tins used for the dough.

"Such moulds no longer exist," says the 33-year-old, who inherited them from his grandfather. Flour, sugar, butter, eggs - anyone can mix the ingredients together. But it takes an expert with finesse to get the lamb cleanly out of its mould and keep it fresh for as long as possible. Finally, the lamb is sprinkled with icing sugar and a red ribbon is tied around its neck.

(Original text: Sabrina Bauer, Roswitha Oschmann and Hannah Schmitt, Translation: Caroline Kusch)