Over the past several weeks I have been encountering several “Easter Trees” in Trieste, some in stores or restaurants and many in people’s homes. Coming from the States, I thought this was another tradition that was commercially induced and most likely born of craft store overstock combined with the ingenious skills of an inventive stock person.
In fact, when I asked where this tradition came from here in Trieste, I was told quite matter of factly that it is a long held Austrian tradition (as it is with most Triestine traditions!😉). The tradition known as Ostereierbaum is centuries old and widespread in Germany and also in other German-influenced places such as Ukraine, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Moravia, and the Pennsylvania Dutch region of the United States.
One of the most famous displays of Ostereierbaum can be found in the eastern German town of Saalfeld in the garden of Mr. Volker Kraft (check out this great piece on BoredPanda.com) . Mr Volker started in 1965 with 18 eggs and every year since, he and his family have added an average of 700 eggs ending up with more than 10,000 as of 2012.
The Guinness World record for the largest Easter egg tree was set by Rostock Zoo, which decorated a tree with 76,596 painted hens eggs in the spring of 2007.
(Click here if you want to find other Easter related World Records).
To make your own Easter tree, you can use any variety of branches, although the preferred seem to be pussy willows, forsythia or cherry blossom branches. Some people actually hollow out real eggs and hang them, others use faux eggs and any other variety of Easter-y type items like baby chicks, bunnies, etc. A good place to start for supplies are the local flower shop kiosks (one of my favorites is the one on Via Cesare Battisti just south of the OVS). Then any AZ Casa shop has a vast selection of seasonal decor. At Montedoro in Muggia there is a shop that carries artificial florals and home decor called Friky Friky, as well as a shop called CASA that carries a limited selection of seasonal items.
So get out there and join in the local traditions and enjoy the festive color and family fun of making an Ostereierbaum of your very own.
Bonus: Here below find a template from Weefolio.com that you and your kids can color to create your own decor.