Whenever I come back to Germany from our holidays in Mangalore, I feel joy in my heart to enter my second hometown, Heidelberg, and to find it in good shape, safe and sound. Since my birth, the Good Lord has given me a chance to live in two different continents. I take this as a joyful gift from my creator, as not many have such privileges to live this way. It?s really a great and heartfelt delight to take shelter beneath the blue beautiful skies of two different hometowns with the blossoming beauty of nature and pleasant seasons which vary so much with one another.
Heidelberg is one of the loveliest and the most romantic cities of Germany and also a home to the oldest university which sways over civic and cultural life. It lies where the Neckar River emerges from the woods of the Odenwald into the Rhine plain?at the foot of a ruined fourteenth-century Heidelberg Castle which is the symbolic heart of the city. Alte Brucke (the old bridge) is a beautiful 18th-century bridge which stands for its name. The harmony of the castle, town and river, framed by delightful woods, inspired several romantic poets and painters since many ages and it is still today not less fascinating to the human eyes. I lost my heart in Heidelberg beneath the beautiful blue skies… just the way it is when I am in Mangalore..!
As I keep writing, I see the golden rays of the sun warmly stream through our eastern window before me! I just sit and imagine how beautiful it is as the sun slowly shines over the city of Heidelberg through the Odenwald Mountain in the blue vapour on the side of the Kaiserstuhl where the castle stands and the Neckar River is flowing gently below with the colourful reflections of the rising sun. The birds are singing and rejoicing over the vineyards in the morning light which reminds us of the beginning of the lovely spring. The whole nature will turn to green soon with the blossoming beauty of flowers and sunshine and the days are getting longer and longer! It is also a great joy that Easter is just round the corner too.
I lost my heart in Heidelberg?!
Heidelberg in spring time
In Germany, Easter is the time of spring time festival, a time to welcome beautiful flowers like daffodils, Tulips and Easter Lilies. It is a time for all Christians all over the world to celebrate the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is also the time to enjoy the delicious Easter dishes with chocolate bunnies and coloured eggs. Of all the symbols associated with Easter the bunny and the egg which is the symbol of fertility and new life, are the most identifiable.
The bunny as an Easter symbol seems to have its origin in Germany, where it was first mentioned in German writings in the 15th Century. The first edible Easter bunnies were made in Germany during the early 1800s which were made of pastry and sugar. The customs and traditions of using eggs has been associated with Easter for centuries. In Germany, Easter eggs are painted with bright colours to represent the sunlight of the spring and are given to Children along with other Easter gifts. For German children, the Easter Bunny, laying coloured eggs in the nests and the joy from an old fashioned Easter-egg-hunt are the highlights of their celebrations.
I have so many sweet memories I carry in my heart of Easter in Mangalore though I was there for Easter only a few times. In Mangalore Easter Sunday is a quiet day and the celebrations rather spiritual than social and showy. Church bells peal with tuneful chimes, Easter music and joy fills the air and Hallelujah is the joyous word of the Easter Wish. There is a grand dinner at home and visits from relatives and friends with Easter Cake is traditional.
I still remember my Easter in Mangalore a few years ago. I never got a chocolate bunny or coloured boiled eggs but my grandmother gave me panpole and sanna with other delicious traditional dishes. It was a lovely Easter that I can never forget in my life!
Happy Easter to all of you wherever you are, whether in Mangalore or abroad, I wish you joy, peace of the risen Lord Jesus and sweet memories to treasure in your heart?.because memories are forever!
Sharel Machado, Heidelberg, Germany
Author: Sharel Machado- Germany