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Hager House Features: German Easter Traditions

Hager House Features: German Easter Traditions

Hagerstown, MD (February 21, 2008)- Have you ever heard of bonfires and fiery wheels at Easter? Ever wonder where Easter Eggs and Easter Bunnies come from? The answer is Germany of course! The Jonathan Hager House and Museum presents German Easter, a tour program running from March 25 to March 29. Each tour will take about 30 minutes. According to John Bryan, Historic Sites Facilitator, "This program was developed to give the visitor the historical background behind the wide variety of Easter customs and to help better explain why we here in America celebrate Easter the way we do. This tour will explain how these ideas developed, why the Easter Holiday is celebrated when it is, as well as exploring the many rituals that early Germans celebrated, from what foods one must eat to what plants were used in decorations."
"Throughout the Middle Ages, Germans had festive community parties in which they would light huge bonfires and roll fiery wheels down hillsides in order to mark the end of winter and the rebirth of spring. As Christianity spread throughout Europe, these older activities were combined into the Easter celebration. Other German Easter time activities ranged from games such as egg rolling and the battle of the eggs to the curious custom of drenching young girls with buckets of water on Easter Monday! This program will also include a discussion of the origination of the very popular Easter Rabbit, which dates back to the 16th century, and a display of the long-forgotten custom of the German Easter Tree, which is similar to the Christmas Tree," said Bryan.
German Easter will be offered March 25 through March 29. Hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm Admission to the tour is $2.00 per person, children under 6 are free. The Hager House is the original home of Jonathan Hager, who founded Hagerstown. The house, built in 1739, is located at 110 Key Street, City Park, Hagerstown, MD. For more information, please call 301-739-8393 or email

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