Easter is very much a family holiday in Austria. On Easter Sunday, families get together for a lunch that includes ham (lots and lots of ham, served with plenty of horseradish), hard-boiled, colored Easter eggs (before you can eat an egg, you have to knock it against someone else’s egg, and only the one whose egg gets broken gets to eat it), and a sweet Easter bread with raisins.

Everyone brings Easter candy and chocolate and distributes it to the other family members.


In many parts of Austria, Easter fires are lit on Saturday night before Easter Sunday. This is a tradition that dates back to pagan times when fires were lit to welcome spring.


One of my favorite things about Easter doesn’t really have anything to do with Easter at all. It’s the forsythias that usually flower around Easter time, even if Easter comes early and the weather is still cold. These bright yellow bushes are so lovely at a time of the year when not much else is blooming.