Many Holiday customs we follow are founded in German traditions that were brought to Pennsylvania by German immigrants as early as the 1600s. They continued, with local modifications, to influence the customs in our area.

The Easter Bunny, as we know it, evolved from the German Osterhase, or "Easter Hare." In the Pennsylvania German dialect, it became Oschter Haws.

A program by local historian Linda Manwiller on the Easter traditions of the Pennsylvania Germans will be held at the Berks County Genealogical Society on April 18. The doors open at 6 p.m. with light refreshments and the program begins at 6:30 p.m.. The Society is located at the Goggleworks, Room 413, 201 Washington St., Reading.

Linda Manwiller recently retired after 47 years at the Myerstown Community Library. She has a lifelong interest in local history and is a life member of the Friends of Conrad Weiser Homestead and the Tulpehocken Settlement Historical Society where she is secretary.

Join us for an evening reflecting on the heritage that continues to affect our lives here in Berks County.

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