Do you know what Easter is all about? Apart from buying and eating the Easter eggs and bunnies in all shapes, forms and variations that Sainsbury, Tesco & Co have been throwing at us for way too many weeks in advance. Well, in Germany, discounter king ALDI seems to think that the nation – or rather the nation’s children – are in need of some explanation.

TEXT: BARBARA GEIER | PHOTO © BARBARA GEIER, PEXELS

ALDI Süd, the ALDI branch that – roughly speaking – covers the southern regions of Germany (yes, we’ve got two ALDIs in Germany, North and South), has for the second year brought out a special customer magazine aimed at kids that explains the Christian background of Easter and traditional customs. Why do we celebrate Easter? What’s the story in the Bible? Why Easter bunnies and egg hunts, plus instructions for do-it-yourself Easter decorations and information about Easter traditions around the world? What do you think? Commendable?

The Church, in general, seems to like it and last year, a spokesperson for the Protestant Church in Bavaria called the campaign “exemplary”, stressing that all the things that make Easter important for Christians are well explained in a language that is easily understood by children. Others, however, thought it sad that a discounter feels the need to explain such “Christian basics” and that this should actually be the Church’s remit.

Well, let’s be honest – or if you prefer, cynical – the ultimate reason for a magazine such as ALDI’s Ostern einfach erklärt (Easter, easily explained) is not an educational but still a commercial one. Yes, ALDI is, like so many companies, more and more engaged in providing valuable and useful content to its customers because that’s the thing to do. Simply ramming down promotional offers down people’s throats is a thing of the past. But, in the end, they still want to sell. Cue: the ‘Für unsere kleinen Kunden’ (for our little customers) icon on the cover or suggestions for Easter presents on the back cover (‘create a photo book using aldiphotos.de’).

In any case, and in the ALDI spirit of educating you about Easter tradition in other countries, why not try the good old German custom of ‘Eier ausblasen’ this year? All you need are raw eggs and good lungs in order to engage in this pre-Easter activity of ‘blowing out’ eggs in order to then paint and decorate their empty shells. And should you be reading this thinking it sounds somehow wrong, then that’s only because you want it to. It’s a perfectly normal thing to do in Germany (ask your German friends), albeit one that might leave you slightly dizzy. Happy Easter everyone!

Barbara Geier is a London-based freelance writer, translator and communications consultant. She is also the face behind www.germanyiswunderbar.com a German travel and tourism guide and blog that was set up togheter with UK travel writer Adrew Eames in 2010.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Discover Germany Magazine.’

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