I love Easter time in Vienna. They really celebrate it here, and not just with chocolate bunnies and going to church — not that I’m opposed to either of those things, but both of them have limited appeal in my life these days. Easter is widely and truly celebrated in Vienna, and though its roots are religious, not all of the celebration is. It is similar to (though of a different scale) than the wonderful Viennese Christmas celebrations. In Vienna, there are Easter markets, several days off from work and school and a general feeling of festivity that flows through the city. In the same way that Christmas feels very much like a celebration of having made it through darkest part of the winter, Easter feels like a victory celebration — spring has returned, with brighter days and (slightly) more warmth.
Easter is also our unofficial anniversary in Vienna. We arrived just before Easter and visited an Easter market right after having found our apartment. The best Easter market in all of Vienna (in my opinion) is that same one we first happened upon, and it is right across the street from our house. So, as always, we visited that market several times in the weeks leading up to Easter.
I always enjoy wandering through all of the markets. I love seeing the intricate, painstakingly decorated eggs. I enjoy the food and the shopping, and I always make a point to visit the bunnies in their market stall. This year, the silver lining to the catastrophic mirror crash of last spring was that I actually got to shop for eggs — after our first few years, I had put myself on an “only one a year” plan, because we were collecting so many. But, after about half of our collection met its end under a very heavy broken mirror last year, we “needed” some new ones.
We also enjoyed some fun Easter activities. The boys painted eggs and played games at the markets, and we colored eggs at home (a process I’m finally getting the hang of here). The boys did sweet arts and crafts at school, too. I just love it. I love being out in the city as the days begin to get noticeably longer, and as the sun begins to be ever slightly warmer.
As is our tradition, the boys celebrated Easter morning with a hunt for eggs, and we followed that with a trip outdoors. For the first time, we actually visited an Easter market on Easter morning — I had no idea they were open on the big day! But, it turns out that they are (or at least the one close to us is), and it was a fun way to observe the morning. We visited the bunnies at the market again (closely scrutinized by the boys so they could attempt to discern which one was THE Easter Bunny), bought some flowers, and even stopped in to an ACTUAL church during Easter service — though just for a minute (which was actually really nice).
Then, in the afternoon, we were lucky enough to have been invited to join some friends and their family for Easter dinner, which was lovely. Holidays are incredibly hard when you’re far from home, and getting to be with friends, rather than just celebrating with ourselves, was a nice change. (Plus we got the added benefit of someone else preparing most of the meal — and it was someone who actually enjoyed doing it!)
All in all, we had another great Easter here in Vienna. We had a lovely lead up to the day, enjoying the markets and the springtime weather. And then, on Easter itself, we enjoyed the company of good friends, and the boys got to eat way more chocolate than they probably should have. In short, a good time, and a happy Easter, was had by all.