Happy Easter From Sweden 2018
March 29, 2018 10:35 AM

Today we celebrate Maundy Thursday here in Sweden, a fun and treat filled day and a short day for most of us who work. I actually took the day off from work today, yay! But Easter is, of course, not all about eating good food, candy, treats and having days off work or school. Through the years I written some blog posts about Easter traditions in Sweden that I thought I would bring back to life today in this blog post, but first I want to wish you all a very Happy Easter from Sweden 2018!

Happy Easter From Sweden 2018
My mum sent me a photo of these cute Easter figures she has made for our up coming Easter meal. Great job mum! :-)


Below are some of the blog posts I have written about Easter traditions in Sweden:

Maundy Thursday in Sweden
April 20, 2011 4:10 PM

Tomorrow is Maundy Thursday - Skärtorsdagen in Sweden. On this day many children dress up like Easter witches - påskkärringar and knock on doors for candy. Although it's uncertain when this particular Easter tradition began in Sweden, the practice was widespread in western Sweden in the mid-1800s.

The origin of this tradition lies in the 1600's belief in witches and witch trips to the Brocken - Blåkulla. It was believed that all witches flew off to the Brocken on their brooms to socialize with the devil on Maundy Thursday. And it was because this trip took place around Easter that the witches often were referred to as Easter witches.

Even though we celebrate Maundy Thursday in a playful manner today, there is no doubt that the history behind this tradition also has a dark side. Because it was during the 1600's witch trials flared up across Europe, due to the fear of witches. And in Sweden it was during the 1660's and 1670's that the witch trials were at their worst. In fact the Swedish name for this day - Skärtorsdagen, comes from the verb cut - skär in the sense of clean - rena, meaning forgiveness of sin days.

Maundy Thursday in Sweden
That being said, me and Lisen cannot help but to take a little trip ourselves on this day. ;-)

Happy Easter everyone!

Original blog post: Maundy Thursday in Sweden


Easter Eve
Swedish name: Påskafton
Date: First Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox occur.


Easter Eve is a day when we gather with our families to eat either Easter buffet or lamb steak dinner. In our family we nowadays mainly eat lamb steak on Easter Eve. The Easter buffet reminds us too much of our Swedish julbord (Christmas buffet) and after Christmas we are all pretty tired of stuffing ourselves with food...

Eggs are also a big part of our Swedish tradition during Easter and Easter Eve. We paint them, eat them and hide them. The hidden eggs are usually plastic eggs filled with candy, mainly for kids. Grown ups usually give each other plastic eggs with some sort of gift in it instead of candy (we do in my family anyway, hehe).

Easter Eve eggs
I loved to paint eggs when I was a childEggs I had on Easter EveOur Easter Eve lamb steak dinner
Some of the food and candy from my latest Easter Eve celebration. And in the bottom left photo is me painting eggs during Easter when I was a child.

Originally Easter was celebrated in remembrance of Christ's resurrection. Although Easter has its roots in the Jewish Passover festival commemorating the Israelites' exodus from Egypt. Easter is the oldest and largest Christian festival.

The tradition of having Easter bunnies in Easter cards and Easter decorations came from Germany in the late 1800s. It was also during this period it was said in some families that it was the Easter bunny, not Easter rooster, who hid Easter eggs.

But why do we eat so much eggs during Easter in Sweden? Well when Sweden was a Catholic country eggs were forbidden food during Lent. So after Lent there were suddenly a lot of eggs because the hens had started to lay again after winter time.

Original blog post: Swedish Easter Eve Traditions


The History Behind Decorating Birch Twigs For Easter In Sweden
March 29, 2013 2:11 PM



The History Behind Decorating Birch Twigs For Easter In Sweden

The Easter tradition of decorating birch twigs with coloured feathers and other small Easter decorations in Sweden date back to the 19th century. But the actual birch twigs Easter tradition originates from a 16th century custom in Sweden where people used to whip each other with birch twigs, either on Shrove/Fat Tuesday or Good Friday morning. They whipped each other as a symbolic gesture to remind themselves of the suffering that Jesus Christ went through.

Over time the symbolic whipping with birch twigs evolved into a game where also children could whip their parents. The simple rules of this game were that the one who woke up first in the morning surprised the rest of the family with a playful whipping. Today, probably because the two types of birch twig traditions were so similar, we do not distinguish between them anymore. In fact, I would say that that the birch twigs tradition that has survived is the Easter one - where we decorate birch twigs with coloured feathers and other small Easter decorations for Easter.

Though I have not decorated at all for Easter this year, I have seen some very nice Easter decorations when I have been out and about. So below are some photos of Easter decorations I have encountered here in Karlskrona/Lyckeby in Sweden. :-)

The History Behind Decorating Birch Twigs For Easter In Sweden
Easter shopping. Already decorated birch twigs for sale on the Great Square in Karlskrona City. :-)

The History Behind Decorating Birch Twigs For Easter In Sweden
Easter birch twigs.

The History Behind Decorating Birch Twigs For Easter In Sweden
More colourful Easter decorated birch twigs.

The History Behind Decorating Birch Twigs For Easter In Sweden
Now this I had not seen before! Two trees decorated with giant eggs in the middle of Karlskrona City.

The History Behind Decorating Birch Twigs For Easter In Sweden
A fun initiative indeed.

The History Behind Decorating Birch Twigs For Easter In Sweden
Looked quite nice actually.

The History Behind Decorating Birch Twigs For Easter In Sweden
Like I said, giant eggs. Lol!

The History Behind Decorating Birch Twigs For Easter In Sweden
And this is a cute Easter decorated tree Lisen and I saw recently here in Lyckeby.

So even though I have not put up any Easter decoration myself this year, I certainly have had the opportunity to enjoy plenty of those anyway. Which is quite nice. And it will be even nicer to have a long weekend off now here at home with my doggy Lisen after my first, busy with long days, week at my new job in Karlshamn. We both wish you all a Happy Easter Weekend! :-)

Original blog post: The History Behind Decorating Birch Twigs For Easter In Sweden

//A.L
 
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Happy Easter From Sweden 2018