Wednesday, 21 May 2014

5 Things You Need to Know About Swedish Easter

1.  Påsk

Swedes call Easter Påsk (posk) and when they speak English to you they call it Eastern.  For some reason Swedes can't grasp dropping the "n" sound.  It's one of their very few hiccups with the English language.

2. Eggs

Anyone from North America has this down pat.  The Swedes decorate eggs in just the same manner.  Easy, except for one difference, they hang them on branches around the house.  Which brings us to our next point.

3.  Feathers

Swedes don't stop at colourful decorated eggs for decoration at Easter, there are colourful feathers too.  Like the eggs, and often with the eggs, feathers are hung from branches in or around the house or from a tree outside. Because I'm fussy and I think it looks silly, this tradition, no matter how logical the connection between eggs and feathers may be, has been hard for me to fully embrace. 

4.  Witches

Sorry kids, there is no Easter Bunny.  Not in Sweden.  Here's where things get a little confusing.  No, there isn't an Easter bunny but there are witches.  Nice witches of course who look like wholesome country folk. They fly to their annual witch conference with a pot of coffee on their brooms.  Swedish kids reenact the flight of the traveling witches by dressing up (kerchief on head, apron, freckles, broom and empty coffee carafe) and then visit the neighbors.  And this brings us to the final necessity for Swedish Påsk...

5.  Godis (Goodies) and Greeting Cards

Swedes eat the most candy (godis) per capita.  If there is any way to get godis on any other day than Saturday -the designated godis day- the Swedes will do it.  Those empty carafes that the kids bring with them around the neighborhood at Påsk are to hold candy.  Like Halloween, there is an exchange, the witches prepare little greeting cards and the receiver gives godis in return.  It must be said that this particular aspect of Påsk is reserved for the more entrepreneurial kids - the go-getters.

Our youngest dressed as a witch at his Dagmama's* house

*Dagmama is the person (woman) who watches the children during the day at a private daycare.