My life in the country with my goats.com site

Happy Easter / Glad Påsk


Easter is a holiday that is celebrated all over the world; celebrated in many ways. There are traditions of which we can not find the origins and there are traditions of which we know exactly where they originated. For instance, in the US there is the Easter Bunny who brings to every home and garden, Easter eggs. These are brightly colored eggs which are not just brought to the homes and gardens of waiting children, but hidden for the fun of the very famous Easter Egg Hunt. These Easter Egg Hunts take place in private homes, indoors or outdoors, all depending on particular situations. You can find elaborate Easter Egg Hunts in many of the top hotels in the US along with the famous Easter Brunch in which everyone attend in their best attire.  People arrive after they have attended Easter Mass, if they are religious, or it is sometimes just a family tradition to go. You can find entire families at Easter Brunch all over the US either at public venues or private homes. Sometimes, depending on the age of the children, they assist in the dying of eggs for the Easter Bunny to find in the early hours of the morning and hide. Sometimes, even though children have helped with the dying of eggs, there is a surprise waiting for them in the morning. That could be a plastic egg filled with sweets or a toy. A stuffed bunny always makes a presence in the home on Easter morning. Easter is a fun day for all , religious and secular alike.

Sweden, my new home, has very special traditions for Easter or Påsk.  Easter is one of the biggest holidays  in Sweden for the religious and secular, nearly as important and sacred as Christmas/Jul. The children of Sweden also help in decorating the eggs for Easter. There are no Easter Egg Hunts and there is no Easter Bunny in this culture.

Many of the modern-day Easter traditions in Sweden date back to pre-Christian days. Children dress as witches. the tradition says that in pagan times, the witches flew off on their brooms to dance with the devil at a sacred place known as Blåkulla. According to folklore, during the pagan times, when the witches flew to Blåkulla, there were fires set across the country. Bonfires could be seen everywhere. They were done to protect the witches on their travels. There was the belief that evil spirits would harm them and it was important for them to reach their destination unharmed. This tradition still stands today, bonfires are lit around Sweden for the days leading up to Easter Sunday. Thursday proceeding Easter Sunday, the children of Sweden dress in witches costumes that they make at home. They are called påskkärringar which literally means Easter hags. They paint their faces and carry a broom and some kind of container, a coffee pot or some kind of tin or basket and knock on neighbors doors. they receive a treat.

As a family celebration, there is usually a big dinner or an afternoon meal of lamb and of course eggs. This big family meal is not eaten on Easter Sunday, but the day before, known as Påkafton, Easter Eve.

One more thing I must speak on and that is the Easter Tree known as Påskris. This is usually birch branches with beautiful colored feathers attached to them. This is one tradition I have never really been able to understand or find the origin. I do know the birch tree and its branches symbolize new life and new beginnings for the Spring. I think in some way it celebrates new life. Branches are brought into the home to decorate or the trees outside are decorated. It really is different and  beautiful at the same time.

As a couple with different traditions, my husband and I  embrace each others culture and traditions. This makes for a very interesting home during the holidays, especially!

A peek at Easter in Sweden…

Swedish Easter Witches 1950  's

Swedish Easter Witches 1950 's

Swedish girl witch "Påskkärring"

Swedish girl witch "Påskkärring"

More Witches! These are not store bought costumes, they come from items found at home

More Witches! These are not store-bought costumes, they come from items found at home

Easter Witches of 2012

Easter Witches of 2012

These little Eater witches are at the door of a neighbor, all dressed up and carrying their birch branches with feathers

These little Eater witches are at the door of a neighbor, all dressed up and carrying their birch branches with feathers

These Easter witches don't seem to be carrying any brooms

These Easter witches don't seem to be carrying any brooms

Easter witch post card. Cards are not sent, but postcard like this are sent to family and friends

Easter witch post card. Cards are not sent, but postcards like this are sent to family and friends

Beautiful colorful Easter feathers can be seen all over Sweden

Beautiful colorful Easter feathers can be seen all over Sweden

Here you can see the birch branches with feathers for a display yin the home and feathers on branches you can purchase

Here you can see the birch branches with feathers for a display yin the home and feathers on branches you can purchase

Easter feathers and branches can be seen at shops everywhere

Easter feathers and branches can be seen at shops everywhere

I have to admit that as different as this may be, the feathers on trees do look beautiful in the wind

I have to admit that as different as this may be, the feathers on trees do look beautiful in the wind

Now a peek at Easter/Påsk at Gullringstorp…

Here is our Easter Tree on our dinning room table. With 4 cats in the house it couldn't stay there long !

Here is our Easter Tree on our dinning room table. With 4 cats in the house it couldn't stay there long !

Part of our blended cultural traditions demands that I put eggs on my branches, not just feathers. Tasha finds them interesting

Part of our blended cultural traditions demands that I put eggs on my branches, not just feathers. Tasha finds them interesting

You can always find an Easter Bunny or two in our house. Tasha likes this one!

You can always find an Easter Bunny or two in our house. Tasha likes this one!

Our Easter Tree

Our Easter Tree, tulips and Easter candies

I love the colors of Easter, so does Tasha

I love the colors of Easter, so does Tasha

Tasha couldn't stand it any longer, she just had to have a feather. I don't blame her

Tasha couldn't stand it any longer, she just had to have a feather. I don't blame her!

Tulips can brighten up any home Easter or not!

Tulips can brighten up any home Easter or not!

Pip enjoys the Easter Tree from on top of Little Lady's house who also got feathers for Easter

Pip enjoys the Easter Tree from on top of Little Lady's house who also got feathers for Easter

This is my little traditional Easter Tree with eggs and bunnies

This is my little traditional Easter Tree with eggs and bunnies and chicks.

A traditional Easter Wreath with colorful eggs makes a nice piece on our entrance hall table, with two cute bunnies, of course. We also added an egg from our chicken house

A traditional Easter Wreath with colorful eggs makes a nice piece on our entrance hall table, with two cute bunnies, of course. We also added an egg from our chicken house

Not really so popular yet in Sweden , but my little peeps come out every Easter. This year they are on my computer!

Not really so popular yet in Sweden , but my little peeps come out every Easter. This year they are on my computer!

Well, it was bound to happen with 4 curious cats in the house, my branches landed on the floor. The next best place for our Easter Tree was outside.

Well, it was bound to happen with 4 curious cats in the house, my branches landed on the floor. The next best place for our Easter Tree was outside. Oh a quick note, our birch branches did not come from a store, my husband went into the forest to get them for us.

However you and your family celebrate this holiday, we hope that you have a wonderful day!

HAPPY EASTER / GLAD PÅSK

One response

  1. Pretty tulips and your cat is so cute:) Happy Easter!

    April 8, 2012 at 19:43

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