If there’s one thing Germany knows, it’s the importance of holidays. On these “Feiertagen” you might mistake what used to be a busy Altstadt street for a set off the newest season of “The Walking Dead: Europe” (might even find a few Walkers/drunks, depending on the holiday!). But when it’s Easter- the country basically shuts down for four days. So what can you do as a poor foreigner looking for something to ease the boredom? Read on!
No, seriously. Nothing. You are not allowed to do anything on Good Friday in Germany. Dancing, music, horse racing- it’s all out. At some point in time, Germans decided that on “Karfreitag” you can’t have fun; at least, not in public. Be prepared for that one neighbor of yours who always complains about you taking out the trash “too loud for a Sunday” to be particularly annoying.
Pro Tip- You’re definitely welcome to party (quietly) in the privacy of your own home/local bar, or better yet- party Thursday and use Friday to nurse that hangover! Heck, I’d be willing to bet you’re reading this while doing that right now!
Saturday: Fight for supplies at your local supermarket
Most holidays in Germany have a few “buffer” days so that you can prepare yourself for when the stores are closed. Easter, however, lasts essentially 4 days- and the second day is Saturday. That’s where the fun begins! See, if you forgot to pick up anything on Thursday (food, medicine, a loved one), you really only have Saturday to pick it up. And since many stores already have limited hours… well, good luck getting that Maultaschen!
Pro Tip- Train station/airport stores are the most fun, since they usually include foreigners that accidentally wandered in and took eggs from a granny. Say a prayer for these poor souls and the stink eye they will undoubtedly receive.
Sunday: Easter eggs and setting things on fire
Assuming you were a responsible German and did your Easter grocery shopping ahead of time (yeah, right), you should have a quiet Sunday morning planned. Eat your brunch, decorate your eggs, and spend time with those that matter most. Then, consume massive amounts of alcohol, go light a bale of straw on fire, and roll it down a hill. This is known as an “Osterrad”. You don’t have to be drunk to enjoy it, but it helps.
Pro Tip- Bales of hay, pyres, and bonfires are all ok to light ablaze. That Christmas tree you swore you’d get rid of weeks ago is not.
Monday: Return from your Easter trip
Let’s be honest, you’re not staying in Germany. You’re going someplace else for four days. That means that Monday is your return travel. If you planned ahead, congrats on that expensive trip to sunny Spain! If you didn’t plan ahead, hope you enjoyed riding the regional trains around Germany.
Pro Tip- Group ticket prices are great for getting around and/or discovering that you really don’t care for your group of friends after Chad disappears with the one shared ticket.
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