German Easter Parties and Food
German Easter Parties and Food
One of the most important holidays in Germany is Easter. The word for Easter in German is Ostern. Most families celebrate Easter with German decorations (ornaments and figurines), children’s games, and best of all, food. German families throw large parties filled with celebration, food, and other family members. The special meals begin on Thursday. In German this Thursday is called Gründonnerstag. On this day, green food is eaten. For example: soups with certain green vegetables and spinach, among many others. Friday, Karfreitag, the families eat fish for dinner. It may serve as a reminder of Jesus and his disciples and their fish catching. Saturday is a day set for relaxation and for preparing the next day's meal. No special meals are served on this day. Easter Sunday is the last day for the celebrations. The family serves lamb for dinner. Afterwards, the family eats cake that was baked in a lamb-shaped cake mold. Knowing all this, you can now throw an Easter Sunday party.
First, you need to decide what the menu will be. You can search online for specific German Easter foods or you can find something within one of your cookbooks if you have an international one. I suggest German Style Recipes cookbook or the Oma German Cookbook, also known as The Best of My Grandmother’s German Cookery. Both are equally festive and contain many delicious recipes.
One of the main dishes you can make is lamb stew. It has lamb, onions, string beans, carrots, wine and several spices. Another recipe that you can use is lamb with mustard. This recipe uses lamb, bacon, mustard, sour cream and red wine. These are only a few of the recipes that are available. Dessert, of course, has to be the lamb cake, decorated with eggs and rabbits (in icing). The meal planning is only half of it. The other half is decorating your house and the table where the whole family will sit. Basically, presentation is invaluable. You can begin the house decorations a few days beforehand, although you might have them up already. If not, here are a few suggestions that could help you in the following years. These German decorations require very little setup and they are wonderful and look great wherever they are placed.
Beginning with the outside area, you can decorate your blossoming trees with hand-carved wooden eggs. You can choose from plain but colored eggs (set of eight) or if you prefer something a bit more ornate, you can choose the colorful blooming eggs that have flowers painted on them (set of 6) or even from the pastel colored eggs that also have flowers painted on them (also set of 6).
Any one of these that you choose can be hung up on a tree outside. This sets the stage for all the visitors. Then you can move on to the inside of the house. You can begin by hanging up ornaments. You can make these or you can buy them. These German ornaments and figurines consist of various animals: ladybugs, bees, chicks, rabbits, eggs, and even children.
These would make great table decorations or hanging fixtures. The ladybugs and bees can be put in flower bouquets to add to the beauty. Some guests may even think they are real so watch to make sure they don't swat at them! The rabbit figurines can be placed on side tables or anywhere within the house. You may even want to play a game with them if your guests and family are still kids at heart. You could see who can find the most figurines and then give the winner one of the figurines as a gift.
Of course, there are many other ways in which you could decorate the house. These are just a few ideas and suggestions.
As far as tableware goes, there are specially made Easter napkins that you can use. There are three to choose from: duckling napkins (three chicks sitting among flowers), Easter egg napkins (colored eggs hanging from tree branches), and rabbit pair napkins (see picture).
Another tableware decoration that can really add to the atmosphere would be the doily items. Some doilies are larger than others. The smaller ones may be used as placemats and the larger ones can be put in the center of the table. You can place a German spring figurine or a German rabbit smoker on top.
Here is a great side table topper. You can place it at a slant so that the edges of the table are still visible.
Now that you have background information about how the Germans celebrate their holidays and what they eat during each day, you can go out and plan your own Easter party. You have the basics: possible meal ideas, dessert, German decorations for both the inside and outside of the house, and finally, tableware. It may take a lot of work to get it all setup, but when family and friends come and see all the décor around the house, they will not be able to help but admire all that you have done. The meal will only impress them further. Remember that this holiday represents new life and growth - don’t forget to enjoy it!