Holy Week with its many customs

Happy Easter in the Riederalm
Posted on 2. March 2022


 from Michaela Eder & Theresa Maier

Easter is a festival in Austria, which is characterised by many different customs. Palm Sunday is the beginning of Holy Week, where the children traditionally go with their 'palm branches' to the church and to the consecration of palms. The palm branches are usually tied out of palm fronds, decorated with colourful painted Easter eggs and/or small pretzels. Palm branches are THE symbol of Palm Sunday - they should bring us blessings for house and garden! There is another 'custom' on Palm Sunday: even the most passionate long sleepers struggle to get out of bed early on this day, so as not to receive the title of 'Palm Donkey'. The one who gets out of bed last is called the “Palm Donkey”.:

A beautiful custom that children also love...

Even if the colourful Easter eggs can be bought everywhere from February at the latest, there is still a beautiful custom, which is especially popular in families. On Green Thursday - the Thursday before Easter - eggs are traditionally coloured. This is great fun, offers a great programme for this holiday day and the result can be tasted on Easter Sunday at the latest - colourful eggs simply belong to the egg hunt and to the Easter breakfast included! Food colouring for colouring eggs are available in all variants: simple blue, yellow, green, red or rainbow shades, metallic colours etc. However, we have been a little bit involved in testing the alternative methods and we find it quite amazing what possibilities nature offers us for colouring eggs.

Tips for colouring the Easter eggs...

The first thing to emphasize is that you need a little patience if you choose the 'natural' colouring. Also, the colours are not quite so bright, a bit more discreet, but the joy of the result will certainly not be smaller. 

It is best to use white (organic) eggs, which keep the colour slightly better. To prepare, the eggs are boiled.

In our region, egg colouring with onion peel is still quite well known, for this you need

  • about 3 handfuls of onion peels,
  • a nylon stocking,
  • water and
  • small flowers, herbs or grasses. 

Here's how:
Simmer the onion peels in water for about 30 minutes and then cool. Cut the panty hose into pieces about 10-20 cm in size. Now you lay the flowers/herbs/grasses on the eggs and wrap the pantyhose piece tightly around the egg - tying with a thread. Now put the eggs in the onion stock until they take on a nice colour, which takes up to 30 minutes. After that, unwrap the eggs and dry them...tadaa, now are beautiful patterns on our eggs that will surely beautify every Easter basket. Another tip: for a nice shine, 'rub' the eggs with a bacon rind!

Nature still offers us a lot of colour variations for our Easter eggs: a nice dark pink is obtained, for example, when dyeing with red beets stock or different shades of green are produced when using spinach. 

So, let’s go - Green Thursday is on its way...

No Easter breakfast without Easter bread...

A fluffy Easter Striezel bread is part of an extensive Easter breakfast with family and friends. A Striezel is a braid made of yeast dough. And even if many have great respect for the preparation... Such a yeast dough is not so complicated, try it out, your loved ones will marvel.

Recipe for a Striezel à la Riederalm



  • 500 g flour (smooth)
  • 50 g sugar
  • 75 g soft butter
  • 10 g salt, 2 eggs
  • approx. 1/4 lt. lukewarm milk
  • 1 cube of yeast



Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm milk and whisk with the eggs - then add the remaining ingredients and knead everything to a smooth, smooth dough. Cover the dough with a cloth and let it 'rise' for about 30 minutes. Then divide the dough and form a braid, let it rise on the baking tray for another 40 minutes - now brush with whisked egg and bake for about 30 minutes on top/underheat 170°. The baking time can vary somewhat depending on the oven, best to test by 'tapping' the braid from below - this should sound hollow. Or use a thermometer, and the core temperature should show about 92°. It is also possible to not brush with egg before baking and instead brush the finished still warm braid with heated apricot jam. 

This dough is very versatile and can be processed super in different variants, especially for Easter, small 'Easter wreaths' are offered, which will certainly please your loved ones!

We wish you every success and a Happy Easter!

Easter bunny weeks in the Riederalm

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