What better way to celebrate a holiday than enjoying the festivities and traditions of other cultures.
The annual Christmas Markets are a favorite European holiday tradition found throughout Europe during the Advent period of Christmas. But have you heard of the Easter Markets?
For 2 -3 weeks preceding and after Easter week you can find annual local spring fairs called the Easter Markets which can be enjoyed throughout cities within Central Europe.
Most popular in the countries of Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic, travelers can immerse into some local traditions as they visit cities like Nuremberg, Vienna, Salzburg, and Prague.
What can you expect from the Easter Markets?
Germany – Nuremberg which hosts one of the largest Christmas Markets in Germany similarly has an annual Ostereiermarkt Easter event. Visiting the Main Market Square, you will find traditional products. As you explore the stands, discover an array of demonstrations featuring local crafting and popular holiday fare to enjoy the spring season.
Visiting the booths with decorated Easter trees (Osterstrauss), clusters of boughs from fruit trees featuring handcrafted hanging painted eggs and bright colorful ribbons. Perhaps you find similarly decorated, Osterkranz (Easter wreaths) which are popular finds, as are the many items available to fill an Easter Basket. Toys, wooden crafts, and the chocolate treat that was created in Germany, chocolate bunnies, are all commonly found as you wander the verkaufsstand (stalls).
Braided sweetbreads are another traditional Easter item and of course, Nuremberg’s world-famous sausages are some examples of what you can enjoy while roaming the many booths.
Austria – Vienna hosts an annual Easter event at Schönbrunn Schloss with exhibitors from throughout Austria selling their crafts with views of the colorful palace gardens in the distance. Strolling the decorated huts in front of this former Hapsburg palace you will come upon handcrafted eggs created from every textile imaginable accompanied by live music from the local Vienna music scene.
Another musical city of Austria, Salzburg also hosts a Easter event with an annual concert and trade fair held during the holy week. Enjoy the local traditions with a sample of the customary Easter snack (Osterjause) of cured ham and boiled eggs with horseradish and Easter sausage.
Czech Republic – Prague’s Easter Market in the Old Town Square is a popular event for the Czechs. Signifying the arrival of spring after a long cold and snowy winter, Prague comes alive with locals and tourists celebrating by purchasing regional treats and handcrafted items.
Many gather for local food and drink of barbecue sausage, flatbreads, dumplings, and pancakes. Along with some of the popular holiday sweets like trdelnik a traditional sugar pastry or spicy gingerbread (perníčky). Of course, you will want to pair everything you try with a glass of Czech Pilsner, a community favorite.
Prague is where you will also find stalls filled with almost everything from wooden eggs and custom curated jewelry to handmade puppets and dolls to bring home as souvenirs or to fill Easter baskets.
You too can celebrate Easter in European style. A Danube river cruise will take you to these charming regional markets so you too can indulge in the flavors and aromas of some of Europe’s favorite cities like Nuremberg, Vienna, Strasbourg, and Prague.