We were glad to share our first Easter here in Vienna with Kathy and some good friends. In the days leading up to Easter I learned a few new things. First, in addition to Christmas markets, Vienna also has Easter markets. Shops are constructed a couple of weeks before Easter to sell delicious food (like bread bowl soup, pretzels with chocolate and cotton candy) and crafts including some of the most beautifully painted eggs I have ever seen. I had read about painting eggs using water colors and thought that we would give that a try this year instead of dying Easter eggs. Then I realized that I haven’t seen white eggs since moving to Vienna. Apparently they are here somewhere, but I hadn’t come across any, so I decided we’d use acrylic paints instead. Sebastian came home from kindergarten with a request to bring eggs to school for their Easter party. After a brief German conversation (accompanied with some hand gestures) I learned they were supposed to be blown out and then cooked to kill the bacteria instead of being hard-boiled eggs. It was my first time to blow out eggs and the family was waiting for me to finish so we could use the eggs to cook breakfast. I gained a whole new sense of appreciation for the hundreds of blown out eggs at the Easter Market and the boys got a good laugh out of watching me. The painting was a success–more fun (and more time-consuming) than dying eggs. We did both blown and hard boiled eggs, but I like the hollow ones best because then I don’t have to crack them and mess up the picture.
Here people hang their eggs on pussy willow branches. I had been planning on buying some just before Easter so we could decorate for Easter morning, but I forgot on Saturday until the stores were closed so I trimmed a forsythia branch off one of the bushes we pass on the way to the park, hoping I wouldn’t be scolded by anyone for it. We made paper chains and hung the palm crosses from palm Sunday from them. We also tried sugar string eggs, but they weren’t dry enough so we ended up hanging them balloons and all.
The Holy Week services were not well-timed for children so we did our own Maundy Thursday service. We made it to Good Friday service, though there was some napping through it which resulted in someone not being ready for bed. Saturday night we held our own Easter Vigil following this service my friend Heather wrote using the Jesus Bible Story Book by Sally Lloyd Jones for the readings. I think next year I might ask about organizing some family services.
Not having a yard to hunt eggs in, this year we had an indoor egg hunt. It was a beautiful day, so Adam took the boys to the park while I hid the eggs. I also sent them on a scavenger hunt to find their baskets. Sebastian has already asked to do it again.
Our friends Byron and Elsa came in the afternoon on Easter and ate soup and finger foods with us. They came bearing chocolate bunnies and Robin’s Eggs from the U.S. for the boys. We had a great time with them, as always. The weather turned warm just in time for Easter and it really felt like all things are being made new.