A celebration of food, fertility, chocolate and Christ, Easter is yet another invigorating affair in the German capital. There are markets, traditions, competitions and concerts, adding an extra element of history and excitement to yet another splendid weekend in Berlin. So, what is on the menu in 2020? Let’s take a look.
Easter is the most fluid of all annual Christian celebrations, so it is important to identify exactly when the party kicks off. In 2019, Easter takes places between April 9 and 13, kicking off with Gründonnerstag (Maundy Thursday) and culminating with the nap and hangover-filled Ostermontag (Easter Monday). This is no ordinary long weekend, as the shops do a fine impression of a Sunday on every day with the exception of Saturday. What that means is you need to get your basics in ahead of time, in order to avoid what will be an inevitable mass of humanity in the stores on Saturday.
With the basics out of the way, what can we look forward to over 2020’s Easter weekend? Bonfires, festivals, concerts, feasts, markets, that’s what. Traditional markets aren’t just confined to the Christmas season, and a number of the special souvenir stalls spring up across Easter, most notably at Alexanderplatz and Kurfürstendamm.
If you’re looking for some unique souvenirs to take home, you’re in the right place. Even if you’ve no intention of picking up something special, the atmosphere around the markets is more than enough to justify a visit. Spring is king as the weather begins to improve, with carousels and rollercoasters for the kids and no small amount of food and drink for the parents. There are wine stands, beer gardens, petting zoos and all the rest, making for a truly magnificent springtime atmosphere.
Spring and Easter come hand in hand in Berlin, and the city’s annual Spring Festival takes place from March 29 all the way through to April 21. Tradition takes on a different form at the Knights Festival at Spandau Citadel, entering its 13th year in 2019. There will be jousting and feasting, and any knights in full armour will be rewarded with free admission. It might be a bit heavy in that gear all day long, but the novelty may well be worth it.
What else? The strains of classical music spread wide over Berlin over Easter, as the city’s Festtage opera festival kicks into gear. The most cultured of tones will fill the marvellous Charlottenburg Palace in the form of the Spring Awakening, marrying architectural elegance with its true musical bedfellow. Festtage takes place between April 11 and 16, with the Spring Awakening wowing audiences on April 20 and 21.
And then there are the bonfires. This rural tradition isn’t quite as popular as it once was, but the flickers of flame can still be found on Easter weekend itself. The Britzer Garden is the real centre of attention here, as the evil spirits of winter are driven out for another year. Keep a keen eye on the fire, but don’t get too close. All this and more in Berlin over this magnificent weekend. We’re looking forward to it as always, and you’ll find us in the beer gardens as the weather continues to improve.