GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — Spring brings the promise of longer days, warmer weather and flowers to brighten the landscape. In Germany — and particularly southern Germany — pre-Lenten and Easter traditions abound.
Bavarian culture prepares for the Easter season with the pre-Lenten celebration of Fasching. The word Fasching dates back to the 13th century. Fasching was originally held in connection with the last alcoholic beverages consumed before Lent. The holiday has changed over the years, to include a more celebratory air. Colorful costumes and parades mark Fasching, along with open air food markets, dancing, and music.
Easter traditions in Bavaria have a long history and are based on both secular and religious customs. Hand blown Easter eggs, decorated trees and bushes, as well as lamb shaped cakes and roast lamb are some ways Germans celebrate Easter.
Most German businesses are closed on the Friday before Easter and Easter Monday. It may be best to do your shopping for any celebrations well before the holiday, which falls on Sunday, April 1 this year. Restaurants are generally open on Good Friday, however, serving traditional fish dishes in honor of the occasion. Expect limited services on-post. If you are unsure if something is closed, please call ahead: www.bavaria.army.mil/phonebook.
Below is a list of activities, religious and secular, at USAG Bavaria: