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Christmas Around The World

Easter Traditions

Easter Around the World

    Easter in Sweden

    Easter week starts with Palm Sunday, which is commemorating Christ's triumphant entry into Jerusalem. This is a day of joyous processions of people carrying branches of early budding willows to lie before the images of Christ.

    There are certain superstitions attached to Easter. People believed that witches were especially active and their black magic especially powerful during this week. On Maundy Thursday they were thought to fly off on brooms to consort with the devil at some place called blåkulla, returning the following Saturday.

    Another superstition on Maundy Thursday or Easter Eve Swedish girls and boys dress up as hags and pay visits to their neighbors. Some leave a small decorated card, an "Easter letter", hoping for a sweet or coin in return. The custom of making "Easter letters" is especially widespread in western Sweden. This is where it is also the custom to slip the letter into a person’s mailbox or under his door without being seen. The identity of the sender is a secret.

    Easter bonfires are also especially the custom in the western provinces, where villages vie to see who can make the biggest one. The custom of shooting also lives on, albeit in the form of shooting off fireworks.

    Eggs are the most common Easter food, and hard boiled eggs are traditionally eaten the evening before Easter Sunday. While the eggs are often decorated, neither their decorations nor the traditions associated with them are as elaborate as in many countries on the continent.

    On Good Friday in Northern Sweden there was a custom which wasn't that pleasant for the girls... Early in the morning the boys in the village gathered, equipped with birch twigs. Then they went to every farm in the neighborhood and whipped the girls with the branches until they gave the boys something to drink, and that wasn't water... After some visits to the farm the boys usually lost a bit of their judgment and sometimes it could be rather unpleasant for the girls... On the other hand, the girls got their revenge on the night between Easter Day and Easter Monday when they in turn gathered to give the boys some of their own medicine.

    On the Wednesday before Easter known as Dymmelsonsdagen it was common practice to fasten some kind of object for obvious reason, something which would make the bearer silly on the back of some poor unsuspecting victim. The whole point was that the victim shouldn't notice the object and walk around with it the whole day.

Products Available from Amazon for Easter in Sweden

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