Sunday, April 18, 2010

Osternmarkt

[ Easter Market ]

I was pleasantly surprised the other day to find that Göttingen has created a cousin to their very festive Weihnachtsmarkt that brought the crowds to the center of town during the holidays. The Osternmarkt is not nearly as big, but as the weather has been becoming better, it is nice to walk through the stands, see the food being made, some of the Easter gifts available along with many trees of colorful eggs and bunnies around the square.

Like the Weihnachtsmarkt, many of the gifts available are homemade, some even on the premises. I had to stop for a while [sometimes a few times over the week] to watch one woman ever-so-slowly but precisely hand decorates real eggshells. I have actually taken for granted how this tradition of the Easter egg may not be as universal as I once thought, and definitely influenced in America from middle and east European customs brought over. My friends from Spain were equally fascinated and confused by this concept of eggs for Easter, something they simply don’t do.



The Osternmark was everything that is nostalgic about Easter for me growing up, condensed into a small outdoor market. Yet, with some of my friends, it revealed new concepts of the holiday. Easter here definitely seems more like a celebration of Spring, much like commercial America, rather than anything related to a religious holiday, yet the Osternmarkt has offered some new and exciting sights as people from Göttingen crowd the Platz des altes Rathaus.