March 28, 2016
Easter bonfires are one of the most common Easter customs in Germany. Their origins can be traced back as a custom to the 16th century, but likely actually date back to pre-Christian times. The light from the fire symbolically represents the driving out of winter and the coming of warmth and spring. The practice is also supposed to increase the fertility of the fields. In the Christian tradition the Easter bonfire is a sign of the resurrection of Christ. The tradition of lighting bonfires is especially popular in rural parts of Northern Germany, but some of the fires are lit in residential gardens in the city or along the beach of the Elbe River in Hamburg. Villagers, neighbors and friends traditionally gather around these bonfires, which are usually lit on the Saturday before Easter is celebrated. In some areas the custom does not take place until Easter Sunday or Monday. The bonfire is fueled with branches and twigs taken from the garden.
Source: German National Tourist Board – www.germany.travel