Eggs: The First Flower of Spring

If Easter is not your thing—you don’t love a window display full of bunnies, you don’t want decorated eggs all over your house, you don’t enjoy a delicious chocolate rabbit—then Vienna may not be your place, since for the last several weeks pretty much every shop window has had a certain look:

So. Much. Chocolate.
So. Much. Chocolate.

But you don’t have to be an Easter person to love Vienna’s Easter markets, full as they are of delicious treats (all manner of breads, sweets, and hot, alcohol-laden beverages) and bright colors. Here, for instance, is a rather standard example, the market at Am Hof in the first district:

Fewer eggs, more Punsch.
Fewer eggs, more Punsch.

The jolliest of these markets, though, are the ones with Easter egg displays, like the one at Freyung (also my favorite Christmas market) in the first:

Every egg in Vienna seems to wind up here.
Every egg in Vienna seems to wind up here.

The major feature here is a decorated egg display of epic proportions. All of the eggs are emptied of their contents, decorated with an often extraordinary degree of detail and variety of materials, and for sale. I never buy any of the eggs, but I do love to go look. It’s hard to exaggerate just what a grey winter it’s been around here, and the Easter markets, with their colorful eggs, are the first sign that color might ever return to the world:

Eggity Eggs Eggs Eggs
Eggity Eggs Eggs Eggs
Rough color-coordination helps manage the eggy chaos.
Rough color-coordination helps manage the eggy chaos.

I have been told that the best eggs are not found at the Easter markets, but are sold at the Tschechisches Zentrum (the Czech Center) in the Herrengasse. I heard this too late to confirm it, however, so I’ll have to update on that next year. I’ve seen the eggs, though, and they’re gorgeous (wax-covered and painted). Even so, the Freyung is nothing to sneeze at. Who has a heart so hard that it would not be moved by endless variations on a pink egg:

Welcome to the pink section.
Welcome to the pink section.

Please note: there are no such signs of color—nor yet life—in the natural landscape, where it’s actually snowing right now.

Snowing.

 

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2 Responses to Eggs: The First Flower of Spring

  1. Pingback: Of Flea Markets, Dirndls, and Crime-Solving Dogs » My Blue Danube

  2. Chez says:

    Love this. It reminds me of a picture book I had when I was young (and my kids have now) called the Country Bunny and the Little Golden Shoes. In the book, Ms. Country Bunny busts through the gender and class-based rabbit glass ceiling, and gets herself selected to be one of the 5 Easter bunnies. She leaves her 13 kids in charge of the housework, and reports to the Easter Palace for duty. The Easter Palace looks a lot like the Easter Market – the eggs are piled up high in all directions in color coordinated piles. The best egg of all, the one for the very sick boy who lives at the top of the very high, very icy mountain (the drama!) looks just like one of the painted eggs from the pink section.
    Even though we don’t go big for Easter over here, something about the abundance of color coordinated eggs speaks to me. Thanks for sharing.
    XO

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