For Christians the world-over, the week before Easter is the most important week in the religious calendar. In Germany, as in other countries, the Easter season is marked by traditional dishes, cakes and confectionery. Here’s a collection of recipes for each of the most important days of Easter week, namely Maundy Thursday (Gründonnerstag), Good Friday (Karfreitag) and Easter Sunday (Ostersonntag).
Gründonnerstag is the Thursday before Easter, known as Maundy Thursday. It means “green Thursday”, although it is thought that the word “grün” is actually derived from the word “greinen” meaning to weep. However, despite there being nothing traditionally green about “green thursday”, Germans often eat green-colored foods such as herb soups.
The Friday before Easter is known as Karfreitag (Good Friday in the US) or “Sorrowful Friday” and traditionally people eat fish for dinner with their family.
The main day of German Easter celebrations is Easter Sunday. For Christians it is a time for the whole family to get together to celebrate the resurrection and the end of the Lent with a festive meal. A more festive breakfast is often on the menu since families have more time to relax and enjoy a more leisurely brunch-type meal after the children have exhausted themselves looking for Ostereier from the Osterhase!
A traditional Easter meal consists of lamb, which represents innocence and humility, accompanied by fresh vegetables and potatoes. Festive cakes are, of course, also a staple ingredient for a Easter Sunday afternoon Kaffee und Kuchen.