Let me tell you Easter is a big deal in Vienna – get used to it. There are the Osternmarktets, chocolate bunnies everywhere and all around you will be sure to find lots and lots of Easter decorations. It is as much loved and celebrated here as Christmas. The preparations start maybe half a month before the holiday and everyone is anticipating it.
Normally many European countries celebrate Easter and people prepare themselves for this Sunday of the year but in Austria it is brought to another level. They basically have it all here – from chocolate sheep, chicks and bunnies to colored eggs and Easter bread. I think I even saw some sort of Adventkalender but for Easter (that I think is a bit too much).
Today I was at Müller (a big department store where you can find everything from cosmetics to food) and people were literally stacking up with chocolate eggs, small baskets where to put the eggs and there was a huge variety of chocolate brands all of which had of course Easter edition candies.
That is only one of the things that is typical around here. Something else, are the Easter markets. There not as much as the Christmas markets of course but the idea is the same. People sell decorations, food and the only thing missing is the Glühwein, but do not worry about it – it is well compensated by beer and delicious meat and candy. The three biggest markets of which I know are the one on Freyung, Am Hof and the one in Schönbrunn. I have been only to the first two and let me tell you, they are busting with people.
The one on Freyung is really interesting because they sell decorate, mostly hand-drawn egg shells which look amazing. However, if you plan to take them with you whilst travelling I would tell you it is not a very good idea. You can risk it of course but all my friends who have bought eggs like that and tried to bring them home on an airplane were disappointed to find out that there was more of an egg dust than and egg shell. But if you want to decorate with them in your house I am sure they will survive the way there. I must say they are not the cheapest thing since one of the lowest prices is as much as 6 euros and they can go up to 25 or even more, depending on how detailed and how hard to made were they. They even have some with the Vienna state opera drawn on them.
The other one which is Am Hof is more about food and other decorations. I haven’t seen so many egg shells there but there are lots of different things that are worth checking out. I really should mention that if you go hungry there you will dribble all over the place. It smells so yummy and tasty that even if you are not a fan of Austrian cuisine (which I doubt, one should be crazy not to love it) you will fall in love with it.
Also since it is a religious holiday, people go to church on Sunday morning. I have always done it with my parents and last year was the first year I was celebrating it in Vienna. I decided to go for the mass at Peterskirche because personally it is one if my favorite churches here. Last year I loved the priest’s sermon and it also makes you appreciate the holiday even more.