EASTER WEEK IN THE GERMAN-RUSSIAN COLONIES continued
EASTER DAY (Osterntag)
Another tradition was "the Fetching of Easter Water" (Osterwasserholen)
which was done by the village girls before dawn. This was done by the
older girls of villages, towns and cities who with a bucket walked quietly
and without lifting their eyes to see others went to well or fountain
and with their bucket scoop up the water which they are to carry home
without spilling a drop or speaking to others. Once home, the
girls would place the bucket down and let the water grow still. They
could then, if they wanted, peer into the motionless water to see the reflection
of their future sweetheart. Then, they are allowed to wash themselves
with the water which, according to tradition, would make them fruitful and
beautiful. Once clean, a girl is to pick up a twig or a branch and go to
an east window and look out and let the Easter morning sun shine on her
The twig and branches are then use upon the late risers of the house and this is called Schmackostern or Osterstiepen.
"CHRISTOS VOSKRESS!" (CHRIST IS ARISEN!)
Before dawn, some of the villagers would rise, dress and then walk out to a place where the sun rise could be seen for this was the day the scriptures of the bible tell us that Jesus Christ rose from the dead.
"VOESTENNA VOSKRESS" (He is truly arisen!")
These early risers would return to their homes.
The adults, who did not rise for the dawn services, were up early to prepare for the day's events.
|Bunnies Nest or Hare's Nest|
Another tradition was that the Easter lamb's collar bone was part
of the Sunday lunch and in olden times the "reader" of these things should
view it and reveal the secrets of the future for those seated at the table.
Therefore the lamb's collar bone held the "key" to the family's future.
The "key bone" is a "Schluesselbein.
One usually wore new clothes on Easter Day and each person presented
him or herself on the Easter Walk to church.
Later in the USA as the Easter Parade, which didn't have floats or balloons but was just people walking along main street in a small village or a walk in a town's or cities' park..
Photographs of Easter Walks in the US:
Remember Red Estair and Judy Garland singing in the 1948 Irving Berlin movie called Easter Parade:
In your Easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it
You'll be the grandest gal in the Easter parade.
I'll be all in clover, and when they look us over
We'll be the proudest couple in the Easter parade.
Links about just the Easter Bonnets:
In the late 1800s and 1900s, in some places, the more affluent paraded in carriages in the city parks.
|This was not a baptism for an infant. This was the sprinkling of water toward a field so that it would produce a good crop.|
|Laughter In Church|
|The congregation was to make a loud mocking "Easter Laugh" toward devil in hell who was defeated when Christ arose and all mankind was freed or our sins during what was called the "Easter Sermon" (Ostermaerlein).|
There were the Easter egg hunts where children searched for the hidden
colored hard boiled eggs.
As boys, who are always ruff and tumble by nature's design just had to tap their eggs together to see whose egg would break first and in time it became part of a tradition and everyone joined the contest. It was known as Eierpicken Eierschieben or Schurwele.
There was the egg race (Eierlesen) which was usually a relay race. All ages joined in the fun.
There was the horse races. The prize for the winner varied.
The egg tradition date back into pre-Christian times. And,
it logical that the egg has taken the role of fertility and relished at
I didn't know this, but in Germany, eggs were used to pay their Easter taxes to their masters. The wealth of the master depended upon how many eggs and other perishable goods he received as gifts. And the more popular a master was the more he received.
Egg hunting can be traced back to early times in Germany to about the year 1662.
The earliest decorated egg dates back to the 4 AD and was found in a Romano-Germanic sarcophagus near the town of Worms.
In some villages, children would sing for eggs as they walked from house to house. This was called "Easter singing" (Ostersingen).
|The food of Easter day varies from home to home and place to place.|
Happy Easter!Frohe Ostern!
In some areas, a man riding a decorated mule, lead the
villagers to church services on Easter Monday.
A good day to start on the leftovers. There is one particular left over dish which is called "Eler in gruener Sosse" ("eggs in green sauce"). It is suppose to be delicious but I've never eaten it and have no idea what it consists of as far as the ingredients of the sauce. Have you?
Kurudschika Village in Bessarabia, S. Russia, Easter Monday in 1938