How Much Milk For A 1 Year Old A Day German Traditions and Recipes for Easter Part 3: Holy Saturday

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German Traditions and Recipes for Easter Part 3: Holy Saturday

Welcome to the third part of my little series on Easter in Germany.

Today, everything is dedicated to Holy Saturday and what happens on that day.

Holy Saturday is officially called “Karsamstag” in Germany. Just like in “Karfreitag” (Good Friday), the word “Kar” indicates that it is another day of pain and mourning as Jesus is now dead and in his grave.

Very religious people continue to fast and are still very contemplative on Holy Saturday.

Churches across the country do not decorate the altar or any other part of the church with flowers, as they normally would. No candles are lit and the church bells and organs remain silent.

However, outside of churches and in most family homes, we are witnessing a completely different picture.

Holy Saturday is not an official public holiday in Germany, so all shops are open again and it is actually one of the busiest days of the year. Many people are going to do their grocery shopping and other errands to stock up for the Easter holiday. You have to do it someday, I guess.

It is also a day that many people choose to do a good spring cleaning in their house, especially when, as is often the case, visitors like aunts and uncles or even the mother-in-law are expected to come. visiting at Easter.

A great tradition in Germany is to paint eggs in all sorts of different colors, as artfully as possible, and to decorate bushes and trees in the garden with these eggs.

First, the egg yolks and egg whites are “blown” out of the egg, making a small hole in the shell on one side and a slightly larger hole on the other. One blows into the smaller hole, so that the egg yolks and egg whites are expelled through the larger hole on the other side.

This is often left to dad and the kids in the house. Dad usually has enough air in his lungs to breathe, and the kids laugh a lot when Dad pulls faces while doing this task.

The children then paint and decorate.

Another Holy Saturday tradition worth mentioning is the “Klapperkinder”.

“Klapperkinder” translates into English as “Rattle-children”.

Church bells normally ring to call people to come to church for prayers or a religious service. Since they cannot be used on Holy Saturday, village children walk the streets and ring specially designed wooden rattles to call people to prayer.

It is however a holdover from many years ago and still practiced only in very rural and Catholic areas, to keep the tradition alive. As you can surely imagine, it is great fun for the children to walk around the village and make a lot of noise, after having had to be quiet all day on Good Friday.

The most important thing about Holy Saturday however is that it is a serious baking day.

One thing that is often cooked on this day is the so-called “Osterlamm”, or “Easter lamb” in English.

It used to be that many people couldn’t afford real lamb for Easter Sunday dinner and to have some kind of lamb for Sunday they would just bake a cake and shape it into a lamb-like figure.

While most people today can afford lamb meat, the tradition has continued.

Another pastry traditionally prepared on Holy Saturday is the so-called “Osterzopf”.

It’s a braided bread of sweet yeast dough and I thought I’d choose the “Osterzopf” recipe to share with you.

Here it goes:

Ingredients:

3 oz. sugar

3 oz. butter

1 oz. fresh yeast

1 cup milk

1 lb flour

1 egg

a little lemon zest

pinch of salt

1 scrambled egg white and egg yolk for brushing the bread

5 oz. raisins

1 1/2 oz. flaked almonds

In a large bowl, combine the sugar, butter, yeast and milk.

Then add the flour, egg, salt, lemon zest and raisins and mix until you have a nice workable yeast dough.

Leave the dough to rest in a warm place for approx. 1 hour.

Now cut the dough into 3 equal pieces.

Roll each piece into a strand about 15 inches in length and braid the 3 strands together.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the braid of yeast on it.

Leave in a warm place for another 1/2 hour to 1 hour.

Preheat your oven to 370 degrees F.

Brush your yeast braid with scrambled egg white and egg yolk, sprinkle with slivered almonds and bake for approx. 35 – 45 minutes.

Tomorrow is the big day and if you’re interested in what’s happening with German families on Easter Sunday, stay tuned.

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