14 April 2009

Easter in Vienna - Frohe Ostern!

Happy Easter! The Schonbrunn Palace gardens are alive with beautiful blossoming trees. So we took the kids out for some pictures. More photos later, but here is a taste. Now it's on to Ostern!

Vienna comes alive at Christmas time with Christmas markets and at Easter there are a bunch of Easter Markets, which I like better because it is warm.

They sell hand painted eggs of all kinds. These are real eggs that have been hollowed out. You can also get wood ones and stone ones and porcelain ones.

Here is another Easter Market. It's amazing how they just pile all these eggs everywhere. And you spend the whole day worried about tripping and crushing $1000 worth of egg shells.

The tradition in Austria is to hang the decorated eggs from branches of pussy willows or tree branches. Pussy Willow is actually Palmkätzchen in German, so it relates better to Palm Sunday for Easter. Chris bought me these cool twisty branches at the Naschmarkt to hang our eggs on. What a fun tradition that we will have every Easter!

At the markets there was also a bunch of games for kids to play. Elora really liked playing Easter Egg Table Hockey. The chicken paddles were classic.

There was also an easter egg hunt. They hid pictures of eggs around the market and when kids found them they could redeem them for the treat bag. We walked around for like an hour and didn't find any egg pictures to redeem. Until finally Chris saw one of the workers leaving the booth to go "hide" some pictures. Chris followed him with Elora and, what do you know we finally found one!

A choir was singing pretty Easter music in front of the palace. Elora really enjoyed it and was clapping with the crowd.

Finally we had our own Easter Egg Hunt. We hid some eggs Elora dyed with her friend Grace, as well as some chocolate and other candies. When Elora woke up from her nap, she looked out the kitchen window and said, "The Easter Bunny hid eggs in the grass!!!!" While hunting for the eggs she asked where the Easter Bunny was and if we could go look for him. Elora was very excited to find her treats. However, about the hard boiled, dyed eggs she said excitedly, "I tried the special eggs and I didn't like them!"

So we made deviled eggs and ate them all... and while making the devil's eggs we noticed mayonnaise in Vienna has mustard as an ingredient. But the devil's eggs also require mustard as an ingredient and a long debate ensued about whether we should actually add mustard separately, since it was already in the Austrian mayonnaise, or if mayo in the US actually has mustard too. So...can anyone answer this conundrum? Did we add too much mustard to the devil's eggs?

And last but not least, little Oliver found a chocolate sheep that he walked around with until it got a little squishy. We divided up the yard into Ollie's half and Elora's half. Ollie didn't get very far in the egg hunting. He was just excited to be crawling around and to have his sheep -- he really loves sheep.

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