Easter in Germany
In Germany, at the Palm Sunday service, the Priest sometimes rides to the service on a Donkey!
In the German village of Oberammergau, people hold a special Easter play, called a Passion Play, every ten years. They do this as a Thank You to God. In 1633 the village faced being destroyed by the Black death or plaque. The religious leaders of Oberammergau promised God that they would put on a play praising God every ten years forever if God saved the village. They put a large painting of Jesus on the Cross to show this. God answered their prayers and saved the village, so the village stage the plays to keep their side of the promise.
The last play performed was in 2000. The Plays are very popular and are booked up for many years in advance with people travelling to them from all over the world. There is a special theatre in the village where the plays are performed. They are performed every day from May to October and last all day. The play starts at 9.30 am and continue to 12.15 pm. There is a lunch break until 3.00 pm and them the play resumes and finishes at 6.00 pm. Nearly everyone from the village takes part in the play, either as an actor or behind the scenes, making clothes and props or helping to run the Play. People from the village have guests, who come to see the show, staying with them. But there there are now some big hotels in the village as well! It is certainly a very busy time for the people of Oberammergau.
You can find out more about the plays at: www.passionplay-oberammergau.com