As the days get lighter and warmer, we wave goodbye to the months of huddling indoors away from the chill! Easter not only brings the chance to indulge ourselves with sweet treats after lent, but also to celebrate the change in seasons from Winter to Spring! Scandinavians are truly in celebration around Easter. As the winters are much harsher, Spring is a very much anticipated season, a time to refresh and reset. In terms of activities around Easter, Scandinavia has some unusual traditions that we can’t go without mentioning!
In Norway, around Easter the bookshops are flooded with newly published books. Spring time cookery, or Easter and spring stories you may assume? – Surprisingly not! The Norwegians have a hankering for murder mysteries! This isn’t in any way related to a historic event – they just love reading crime thrillers around this time. Named ‘Paskekrimmen’- or ‘Easter Thrillers’ you can even find them printed on milk cartons! Click here to adopt this tradition and choose your Easter Thriller!
If you visit Sweden at Easter time, particularly on Maundy Thursday – you may be met with an unusual sight. You’re not hallucinating, there are indeed children running around dressed as witches! Donning headscarves, long skirts and broomsticks, these little ‘Paskkarringar’ or ‘Easter Witches’ knock on doors and receive sweets and money from their neighbours. It makes a change from fluffy Easter chicks and bunnies!
One of the favourite Easter decorations in many Scandinavian households is a ‘Påskris’ or ‘Easter Tree’ – twigs and branches are decorated with colourful feathers and mini Easter ornaments. In Christianity these represent Christ’s sacrifice and became a Scandi Easter tradition around the 1800’s. If you’re looking to make your own Easter tree, check out this very stylish version from The House that Lars Built or for a more traditional Påskris, this tutorial from Little Scandinavian is perfect.
Unusual traditions aside, Scandinavia shares the worldwide love for eggs around Easter time. The chocolate variety, their own sweet-filled variety, and for the Easter Smorgasbord – boiled eggs accompanied with caviar and even a painted egg for the centre-piece! Try this recipe to make a yummy Swedish egg salad for Easter lunch from The Swede and Sour Kitchen.
So whether you’re dressing as a Easter Witch, reading an Easter thriller, or are planning on just enjoying some pure and simple sugary goodness, we hope you’re celebrating the run up to warmer months ahead! Happy Easter; Glad Påsk!