The decoration of the Easter wells, perhaps the most charming custom in the Fränkische Schweiz, has experienced a great revival in the last few years and has become a popular attraction. The easter eggs are painted by hand and some of the wells are decorated with tens of thousands of eggs.
People are now interested in how long this tradition has been in existence and how it came about.
The tradition’s origin cannot be determined exactly but the area in which it began can be narrowed down to the central region of the Fränkische Schweiz.
The main reason for decorating the wells and springs lies primarily in the significance of water as the life-giving element for the arid plateaux of the Fränkische Alb (Franconian Alps).
Before the advent of the central water supply system which we take for granted today, various wells and collecting tanks were constructed to counter the aridity as, for geological reasons, there were hardly any natural collection points for water in the Franconian mountains.
Generally it was the women who then drew the drinking water from these sources and hauled it laboriously to their dwellings. Naturally these sources were kept clean and well-tended and in some places the inhabitants erected a so-called well house over the well.