Easter is approaching and it’s time to plant the tree.
For those who think right now that trees are for an entirely different Christian holiday, you are both right and wrong. Even though trees are more widely associated with Christmas, Easter trees are an increasingly popular and festive tradition that has its roots in Germany.
The Easter tree is known as Ostereierbaum in Germany and is an age-old custom. The eggs are hung on tree branches and outdoor bushes or are placed on exposed cut branches indoors.
While the tradition dates back to Germany, German-influenced regions like Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, and the Dutch region of Pennsylvania in the United States are also popular places for Easter trees to appear. For 50 years a person has diversified with its own Ostereierbaum tradition. Volker Kraft decorated an apple tree on his property in the town of Saalfeld, Germany, adding more eggs each year as the tree grew.
The tradition ended in 2015. At one point, the tree contained 10,000 eggs, all handcrafted by Kraft and his family. However, a tree in Rostock, Germany held the Guinness World Record for the tree with the most eggs…a display of 80,000.
While Easter trees are generally more modest than Kraft’s tree, displays can be as large or as small as desired. Many Easter trees consist of a few branches placed in a vase decorated with flowers, ribbons and Easter eggs. Kitten willow branches work well, although all branches can stand upright.
When decorating Easter trees, families can use plastic eggs or even real ones. Using a sharp knife or needle, poke two small holes in a raw egg. Blow inside the egg until the shell is hollow. Then decorate the egg and thread a ribbon through the holes so you can hang it on the tree.
If desired, place sweet Easter treats, such as chocolate eggs or pastel-colored cupcakes, under the Easter tree. Decorating an outdoor tree is also possible and very visible. It can be a great way to share Easter blessings with other members of the community.