HH is a retired former housewife who lives in a Westergellersen, a very small village in northern Germany.
“Am Ostersonntag holen Frauen Wasser aus einer Quelle. Sie dürfen dabei nicht gesehen werden und es darf währenddessen nicht gesprochen werden. Dem Wasser werden heilende Kräfte nachgesagt und es soll die Fruchtbarkeit fördern. Mädchen erhoffen sich Schönheit und Verliebte bespritzen ihren Traumpartner mit dem Osterwasser um diesen für sich zu gewinnen.”
On Easter Sunday, the women get water from the spring. They are not allowed to be seen during this and it is not allowed to speak. The water is said to have healing powers and is supposed to promote fertility. Girls wish beauty for themselves and those in love spray their dream partner with the Easter Water to win him for themselves.
This tradition follows step with Easter’s general association with fertility. The women gathering the water in silence, without being allowed to be seen, also aligns with some marriage customs that deal with purity. Since this custom was collected from Westergellersen, a very rural German village, from a grandmother who participated in this ritual when she was young, it follows that societal standards around purity, fertility, and gender roles were much more strict and strongly enforced than they are now.
Spraying the Easter Water on the subject of affection is a form of magic folk belief that falls into the Homeopathic category. I interpret the Easter Water to be symbolic of fertility, as Easter, also connected to eggs and bunnies/rabbits, has a general thematic connection with fertility. So, splashing a potential partner with Easter Water creates a metaphor for the future fertility of the relationship. This metaphor arguably even symbolizes a reversal of the typical conception process, as here, the woman splashes the man with a fertile liquid instead of the other way around.