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! :-)

Source: Nordiska Museet.

/A.L
 
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