Decorating Trees And Bushes With Eggs Is A German Easter Tradition

Ostereierbaum is actually an Easter tree that has small branches decorated in hanging Easter egg ornaments.

It sometimes seems as if we move from one holiday to another and it can be difficult to keep up with all of the festivities. If you are looking to add a little something extra into your family traditions, then you might want to check out an Easter tradition that was originally from Germany, Ostereierbaum. Although it may have come from Germany it is becoming more and more popular elsewhere in the world. Ostereierbaum is a small tree with branches decorated with hanging Easter eggs.

People in Germany decorate live trees or bushes with colored eggs tied with ribbon. You don’t need to worry about stands or lights as you do with a traditional Christmas tree, just tie some eggs and start celebrating. Nobody is really sure how the tradition got its start. There are some rumors but none of them are verified. What is known is that families in Germany have been doing this for centuries.

Some families only keep the trees around during Easter but others continue to use them all year and even use them to decorate for Christmas. Ostereierbaum can easily be used inside the home if you take some young branches and keep them in a container with water.

According to NBC, one of the more famous Ostereierbaum displays is in Saalfeld, a town in eastern Germany. Volker Kraft has had the tradition of decorating the Easter tree and continues to add eggs to it. It is thought that there are as many as 10,000 eggs on the tree.

Kraft’s family started the tradition in 1965 with only 18 eggs on the tree. An average of 700 eggs were added to the tree every year according to The Telegraph.

10,000 eggs is a lot but it is small compared to a tree in Rostock Zoo. That tree holds a Guinness record with the maximum hen eggs as of the spring of 2007. The total count of painted hen eggs is 76,596.

For those who are interested in making an Ostereierbaum, it’s not difficult to get started. You collect the branch and begin painting eggs. For those who want to stick to the tradition as closely as possible, the ornaments are painted wooden eggs. Once the eggs are ready, attach ribbon to them and insert a needle in the bottom hole of the blown-out egg. You can then attach it to the tree.

Some people also use additional ribbons or garlands to create more color on the tree. Children can also draw smaller egg scenes to put around the tree as well. It may just be a tradition your family follows for many years.