Easter comes but once a year – but one couple have turned it into a lifetime’s project. German pensioners Volker and Christa Kraft have decorated the tree in their back garden in Salfeld for Easter for more than 40 years.
The tree now drips with more than 9,800 colorful Easter eggs, painted with pastoral scenes and religious icons. Volker Kraft adds to the 9,800 Easter eggs hanging from the tree in garden of the home he shares with his wife Christa.
Each egg must be painstakingly emptied of yolk and whites, to ensure it will not go bad, before they can be hand painted and hung out for all to see. The easiest way is to pierce two holes in each end of the egg with a hat-pin, then blow out the contents through a straw. The better equipped can use a syringe pushed through just one hole to extract the gooey gubbins. But be cautious when handling raw eggs – they may carry salmonella.
Symbol of life: Carefully packed and intricately decorated Easter eggs lie waiting to be hung from the Krafts’ tree. The egg is a pagan symbol of rebirth, widely used in spring festivals before its adoption by early Christians as a symbol of the resurrection of Jesus. For followers of Christianity the eggs are symbolic of Christ rising from his tomb two days after his death on the cross.
In ancient times, the Zoroastrians painted eggs for Nowrooz, their New Year celebration, which falls on the spring equinox. Sculptures in the ruins of Persepolis , their capital, show people carrying eggs to their king for the occasion 2,500 years ago.
After their kids moved out of the house, it seemed the Easter Tree would finally catch a break, but grandsons arrived and the Krafts went back to decorating their giant tree. The number of Easter eggs hung by the trees branches grew every year, and in 2010 it reached an incredible 9,500 eggs.
Sent by: Nora Thomas-Chandler
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