Thursday, April 13, 2006

Glad Påsk!

Easter is a much biggest celebration here than it is at home in England, so I thought I'd share some Swedish Påsk (Easter) traditions with you...

When I first came to Sweden I was confused as to why young girls dressed up as witches at Easter, but the reason is that there is an old superstition which said that witches would fly on their broomsticks to Blåkulla (Blue Mountain), where the devil lived, on Skärtorsdag (Maundy Thursday) to plot their evil doings! Children now dress up as Påskakärring (Easter witches) and visit their neighbours with an Easter letter (usually a drawing or colouring in) in return for sweets. There are often large bonfire and firework celebrations to ward off the witches too!

Many people also decorate their houses with Påskris, which doesn't really have a translation in English, but are birch twigs decorated with brightly coloured fathers. Originally the birch twigs were used to give children and servants a beating on Långfredagen (Good Friday) to remind them of Jesus' suffering on the cross, but thankfully I don't think they do that any more!

In England all of our eggs at Easter are chocolate but here they are beautifully decorated cardboard eggs which are then filled with sweets or chocolate or small gifts. Below are some of the eggs we're taking back home with us this evening - that is if they can survive me picking sweets out of them every 2 seconds!

We filled them with all sorts of Swedish sweets including my favourite - Plopp!

I hope you all have a very Happy Easter!


At 4:21 PM, Blogger Marie said...

I've had three groups of påskkärring come to the door today already. I love the costumes and make-up - it's so cute and the kids are so sweet and polite.

I've read about Easter bonfires, but it must be a regional thing as there are no fires scheduled over here on the east coast until Valgorg.

Hope you have a really happy easter.

At 8:16 PM, Blogger Heidi's World said...

i can't help but laugh at the tradition of beating the children and servants to remind them of Jesus' sufferings. i wonder who was so mean to start the tradition! i mean, why only children and servants need to be reminded of Jesus' sufferings, but not oneself, one's spouse/siblings etc? i guess the reason was simple - only children and servants will allow one to beat them eh?

happy easter too!

At 9:40 PM, Blogger kimananda said...

It sounds like there's a lot more Easter tradition in Sweden than in Denmark...although we are going to 3 Easter dinners this weekend, and are expecting to get lamb each time, so I guess that's a tradition, isn't it?

Happy Easter/God påske!

At 2:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sweden has some strange traditions...just my opinion.

Then againwhat would they think of the easter bunny???

At 5:03 PM, Blogger verniciousknids said...

Very interesting and I love the rosy cheeks on the mini witches. I also like the name of your fave sweets :)

Happy Easter to you too Helen!

At 8:12 AM, Blogger Connie and Rob said...

I hope you have a wonderful Easter.

Take care,

At 7:32 AM, Blogger Baby Angel said...

Happy Easter! This is really fascinating...the witches & birch twigs...I don't remember doing that when I was in Romania during Easter last year... :)

At 5:42 PM, Blogger Etchen said...

Great post! It's so interesting to learn ab. holiday traditions! Is there no coloring of eggs at all?

At 4:54 AM, Blogger Sonia said...

I wish you and your family a belated Happy Easter!
Love to know the Easter traditions. Thank you for sharing this.

At 1:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 1:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

woow! never seen these cardboard eggs(*o*)
look awfully good!!
we dont celebrate Easter in Japan except very few christians.
wish we have such great tradition.
thank u very much for the photo of cute lil witches!!

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