I would like to share with you a little about what a Swedish Easter (Påsk) is like compared to back in the UK, and whether or not we have fallen in love with yet another part of Sweden’s culture. Easter back in the UK for us, was always a mix of Scandinavian traditions and English ones, with me having my Norwegian background. So a Swedish Easter for us is only a little different, and not too much of a culture shock.
- First of all the decorating of our home. We have always hung little wooden, glass, or painted eggs onto branches around our home. This is a Norwegian tradition I have always done in our UK home, but has become increasingly more popular the past few years in the UK as well. A Swedish Easter is no different.
- They adorn their branches in the garden with colourful and bright feathers. This brightens up the outdoor space where spring is struggling to be seen, and adds colour whilst we wait for the natural colour of spring blooms.
3. Eggs are hung in the windows, which are visible both from inside and from outside, and make the home look cosy and inviting.
4. The Swedish Easter tradition with chocolate is slightly different too. There is definitely still plenty of it, but instead of masses of foil wrapped Easter eggs, here in Sweden you have a beautifully decorated paper shell of an egg (available in various sizes, but beware they hold a lot more than you think!) filled with candy. Although there is still a lot of candy available, I like this idea, as it is a lot more simple. Also, the children are less saturated with an abundance of chocolate Easter eggs, which you then spend the following months trying to let them eat without feeling guilty with them having so much chocolate! They are very pretty, and best of all reusable 😉 Of course, we will have an Easter egg hunt in the garden too!
5. Eggs (the chicken variety), and fish feature heavily on the food side of the Swedish Easter celebrations. Eggs for breakfast, eggs on open sandwiches, and various fish dishes including pickled herring (one of my mother’s favourites I’ve never quite been able to adopt!), all washed down with some good strong Swedish snaps.
6. Many children dress up as witches at Easter in Sweden, and on Maundy Thursday (skärtorsdag), you’ll spot children with face paints on and broomsticks. Some will be knocking on doors asking for treats, a bit like in the UK at Halloween.
7. Swedish Easter is also the first long weekend of the year, with potentially warmer weather, that people head out to their summer houses. The weather has to do a bit of a rapid turn around to make this come true this year! We are lucky that our new home is in a place that people would consider is somewhere to have a summer house, so we can stay in the comfort of our home and enjoy our surroundings 🙂
8. Påskmust: For those of you who read our Swedish Christmas post you may remember reading about the drink Julmust. This is a very sweet drink…think Coke, then think sweeter still! In fact, I can feel my teeth wanting to fall out when I drink it! Well, it is wheeled out again at Easter when the same drink is re-branded as Påskmust. I do serve my trio this, but I have to say I cringe inwardly every time I do, thinking of the poor dentist!
I hope you have enjoyed learning about a Swedish Easter, and have fun celebrating it wherever you are, whatever traditions you are keeping 🙂