• Austria's news in English
 
app_header_v3
'Osterlamm' and what it means to Austria
Photo: Shoshana Rae Stark

'Osterlamm' and what it means to Austria

The Local · 4 Mar 2016, 13:08

Published: 04 Mar 2016 13:08 GMT+01:00

One tradition that finds it way into Easter meals throughout Austria, Germany, and elsewhere in central Europe, is the Easter Lamb cake, known in German as Osterlamm.

For those unsure why a lamb-shaped cake should take centre stage this time of year, here is a brief explanation of its history and purpose during Easter time.

As well as looking cute, delighting children, and tasting nice, Osterlamm has a serious side.

The symbol of a lamb has long been used to represent Jesus, who is described in the Bible as ‘the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world’, meaning he is an innocent and perfect sacrifice.

The idea of a sacrificial lambs have since been used widely in both Christian and Jewish theology, featuring in hymns, paintings and celebrations, although a lamb cake can probably be dated back to pre-Christianity when they replaced the killing of live animals in rituals.

As part of Christian celebrations of the resurrection of Jesus after he died on the cross, lambs frequently appear this time of year as both a symbol of rebirth and sacrifice.

Story continues below…

For those not keen on carrying out real life sacrifices, the Osterlamm cake is a more child-friendly option.

The cake itself is normally made of a sweet spongy dough, similar to that used for the Austrian Gugelhupf, but it can also come in bread form and is more likely to feature at breakfast time then later in the day.

There are lots of different Osterlamm recipes available online - most requiring a lamb-shaped cake form - but the ready-made version is also easy to pick up from certain shops in Austria.

For more news from Austria, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Technical glitch causes chaos in Vienna airport
Photo: Twitter/Judith BK

Nearly 1,000 airline passengers were left stranded last night after a glitch in the IT system at Vienna airport caused huge delays to flights.

Cops nab accomplice in Austrian ‎€50m caper
Disgraced CEO Walter Stephan. Photo: Facebook/FACC

Police in Hong Kong have arrested an alleged accomplice who is believed to be involved in the scam which cost an Austrian aerospace company over 42 million euros.

A taste of Michelangelo in the heart of Vienna
Photo: Paul Gillingwater

Why go to Rome when the art of the Sistine Chapel can come to you in Vienna? Check out the new exhibition of Michelangelo's timeless frescos at the Votivkirche.

Over 50 cats go missing in Austrian town
Photo: Creative Commons/Pablo Viojo

Animal rescue services suspect there could be a serial cat-napper at work in the Austrian town of Frauenkirchen after more than fifty cats disappear in the region in under two years.

Austrian minister describes Merkel as 'irresponsible'
Photo: Defence Ministry

Austria’s Defence Minister has criticised the German Chancellor’s handling of the refugee crisis last year, accusing her of irresponsibility.

Beach party protest against burqini ban planned in Vienna
Woman wearing "burqini" swimwear in Egypt. Photo: Giorgio Montersino/Wikipedia

Vienna is to join London and Berlin in protesting against the introduction of a burqini ban on beaches in 30 seaside towns in France.

Expert says smuggling is as high as last year in Austria
Refugees arriving at Westbahnhof in Vienna. Photo: Kim Triall.

Human trafficking expert warns last year's refugee truck tragedy could happen again.

Austrian nuns recommended for Nobel Peace Prize
Sorok Island Hospital

Two Austrian nuns have been recommended for a Nobel Peace Prize for their decades of work supporting people living with leprosy in South Korea.

Turkey accused of 'systematic spying' in Austria
Photo: Twitter/apex_archive

An Austrian politician has accused Turkish authorities of spying on people living in Austria who are opposed to the Turkish leader President Tayyip Erdogan.

A weekend of classic cars in Vienna
Photo: Vienna Classic Days/Facebook

A parade of classic cars will once again take to the streets this weekend in Vienna as part of the city’s annual Classic Days event.

Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
Beware these passport scams
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
National
Of course we skipped Oarsch
National
Foodies rejoice at the choice!
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Travel & Tourism
Yodel-ei-ei-eee--oh
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Lifestyle
10 years after her escape from captivity
Politics
Surviving the Brexit for British expats
National
Another 10 million Euros for fresh elections
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Gallery
Day 2 of the World Bodypainting Festival 2016
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Society
Is Islam hostile to Western society?
Gallery
Bodypainting festival in southern Austria
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
It's gonna be hot... here's how to cope
National
Europe's ice cream capital
Travel
Best Austrian beauty spots
Travel & Tourism
Three days in Vienna as a tourist
National
How to make friends in Austria
National
Don't hesitate - break the window
Sport
Ready to watch some football? Here's how!
National
Cake rules
Politics
Austria's choice for a new president
Politics
Profile on Norbert Hofer, Freedom Party Presidential Candidate
Politics
Austrian politics explained. TL;DR: worry not.
Features
Refugees need practical help
2,527
jobs available