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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Germany Series at GermanPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind German holidays and observances. I’m Matt, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 4 - Easter Sunday.
In this lesson we are going to tell you how Easter, which is known as Ostern in German, is celebrated in Germany. With Easter Sunday, called Ostersonntag in German, begins the Easter season. It lasts fifty days until Pentecost. Easter Sunday falls on a different date every year, since its exact date depends on the first full moon of the spring. The full spring moon falls between March 21 and April 19, and Easter is celebrated on the following Sunday.
Now, before we get into more detail, I've got a question for you-
Why do people in Germany eat so many eggs at Easter?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later, so keep listening!
During this great Christian feast day, believers celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, or Auferstehung Jesus, on the holy night of Easter. However, worship in some churches takes place at dusk on the preceding evening. A large candle made of beeswax is lit on the Easter fire. Traditionally, the so-called Easter candle must be kept burning throughout the Easter season.
At Easter, people wish each other "Happy Easter" by saying “Frohe Ostern”, and some also send Easter greetings in the mail. Shops sell Easter sweets such as Easter bunnies and Easter eggs, which are usually made of chocolate. A lot of people also decorate their homes by putting up an Easter basket. The traditional Easter breakfast is comprised of sweet or tasty Easter bread, and marks the end of Lent.
On Easter Sunday, children in many families embark on the Easter egg hunt, called Ostereiersuche, even before breakfast. Hard-boiled chicken eggs are used for this purpose, after being decorated ahead of time with motifs, painted or colored, and then hidden. Usually, the collected eggs are then eaten at the common Easter breakfast. Small children believe that the Easter eggs are hidden by the Easter bunny, or Osterhase in Germany. People also hide chocolates or toys for children, and the children have to find those too.
There are customs associated with Easter, referred to as Osterbräuche. For example, the Easter egg fight is one of the most common Easter games. In this game, players alternately tap the front tip of their opponent’s egg with the front tip of their egg. The objective is to make sure that your egg remains intact as long as possible.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
Why do people in Germany eat so many eggs at Easter?
In the Bible, it was mentioned in the commandment on abstinence that one should avoid not only meat, but also other animal products during Lent. This contributed to the tradition of consuming eggs at Easter—after waiting for so long, people were extremely excited to finally be able to eat eggs again!
So listeners, how did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
In your country, are there any unusual customs related to Easter?
Leave a comment telling us at GermanPod101.com! Until next time!