Easter in Hamburg

Easter Fire

Its a bit of a late post as Easter is already over… but I still want to share with you my Easter experience in Hamburg.

So last week end, April 4th and 5th, was Easter week end. In Hamburg, this is called Osterfeuer.


Osterfeuer basically means easter fire, which is a long tradition in Hamburg and on the Elbe. It happens on the evening of Easter Saturday. This lightening of huge bonfires was originally a pagan tradition. It was said that the light and warmth of the fire were supposed to drive out the winter and ensure good harvest. Later, this tradition was adopted by the Christians.

My Easter Fire experience

I have been to an Easter fire last year, as many Germans told us that it is something that we should experience. With some friends, we went to Blankenese, a beautiful spot in Hamburg, where there is a little beach. We found a spot and sat down drinking and eating. As we spotted the big bonfire, we decided to get into it and made our own little bonfire, which was awesome! 🙂 But who says fire, says smoke, and I can tell you that our clothes smelled pretty strong after that!

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Picture 1: Easter bonfire; Picture 2: our little bonfire

Anyway, once it got dark, the bonfire got lit, and I mean… It was crazy! At first, you see a red smoke going up in the sky, then this huge amount of wood and pin three branches starts to fire up and then all the thing is just a huge fire, with large flames and a lot of smoke. It was incredible!

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Picture 1: Fire starts; Picture 2: Huge bonfire

The place was great: right next to the Elbe, with boats going around, many people having a good time and making their own bonfire…

I really do not regret to have done and seen that! If you ever are in Hamburg at that period, you should definitely go see a bonfire!

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Picture 1: View on the Elbe; Picture 2: Sunset

In France, that is not something usual for Easter. We generally spend the day with our family, hide eggs for the kids to egg hunt and just having some family time. This easter fire is different and something that you would do with friends instead of with your family, but I liked it!


What did you guys do for Easter?


©Copyright- All pictures are my own. Please do not take them without permission. If they aren’t mine, pictures are linked to the original website.


2 thoughts on “Easter in Hamburg

  1. Hey.
    One of my friends who is presently in Hamburg witnessed Easter Fire today. He described it as a “German Holi” of sorts. I googled a bit and it led me to your blog.

    Holi is an Indian festival which has striking similarities to what you just described!

    Quoting from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holi

    “The Holi festival has further cultural significance. It is the festive day to end and rid oneself of past errors, to end conflicts by meeting others, a day to forget and forgive. People pay or forgive debts, as well as deal anew with those in their lives. Holi also marks the start of spring, and for many the start of the new year.”

    “The festival has many purposes; most prominently, it celebrates the beginning of Spring. In 17th century literature, it was identified as a festival that celebrated agriculture, commemorated good spring harvests and the fertile land. Hindus believe it is a time of enjoying spring’s abundant colours and saying farewell to winter. To many Hindus, Holi festivities mark the beginning of the new year as well as an occasion to reset and renew ruptured relationships, end conflicts and rid themselves of accumulated emotional impurities from the past.”

    It is so refreshing to find similarities between Eastern and Western traditions! 🙂


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