Happy Easter

The Beau just told me about a custom in which he participated once, back home in the Erzgebirge as a youth, that of Fetching the Easter Water (g). He had known of it during his childhood but not much more than that – on Easter Sunday, before sunrise, the local youths would go on a trek into the local forest to a spring to fetch the “Easter Water”, which on this day would have special strengths and healing qualities. The thing was, you aren’t allowed to speak on the entire walk there and back, or the water you have taken will lose all its powers. The Beau says that this was the hardest part for them, especially after being out partying the night before. In some regions the Easter Water must be fetched by girls, but his village sent both girls and boys in their teens.

A look around the Internet teaches that this is most likely an old heathen fertility rite of sorts, and I assume most likely to be tied to the Germanic godess Ostara or Eostre. As the Germanic peoples lived a bit north and east of here (outside the Roman Empire), I would be surprised to hear of something like this being observed here. (I’d never heard of it before, but that of course means little.)

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2 Responses to Happy Easter

  1. paschberg says:

    Despite the holy water in our christian cup stones I haven´t heard about a special easter rite of this kind in Tyrol.

    Ostara – a loaded term (as seen in wikipedia at the bottom) I connected this word only with a magazin issued by “the man who gave Hitler his ideas”, Lanz v. Liebenfels (well this theory is controversial).

  2. Marcellina says:

    Ostara — yes, with much of this neo-pagan stuff it is sometimes difficult to tell the new-agey from the neo-nazi. The Wikipedia entry also mentions a folk band named “Ostara” http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ostara_(Band), (g) : the two founding band-members had come from a prior band named “Strength through Joy” (Kraft durch Freude) (!) however one of them is Jewish.

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