An Ostereierbaum (Easter egg tree) in Saalfeld, Germany
© Rudi Sebastian/Alam
A yearly sign that spring has sprung
If you find yourself in Germany or Austria around Easter, you'll see trees, bushes, and cut branches decorated in colorful eggs such as these. The Ostereierbaum (aka Osterbaum or Easter egg tree), is a German tradition dating back centuries, though no one's quite sure of the exact origin. Eggs have long been a symbol of rebirth and spring, and the sight of colorful eggs hung by ribbon can melt even the coldest of hearts.
This Ostereierbaum is perhaps the most famous Easter egg tree in all of Europe. Volker and Christa Kraft of Saalfeld, Germany, started decorating this apple tree in 1965, when it was just a sapling and could only hold 18 plastic eggs. Flash-forward to the 21st century, when more than 10,000 blown and painted eggs decorated the fully grown tree. Sadly, the Krafts ended their tradition in 2015, but the memories of the glorious Ostereierbaum live on in photographs such as this one.