Origin and History of Easter in Sweden
The Kingdom of Sweden, as it is officially known, is a Nordic country in the northern part of Europe. Sweden is mainly a Roman Catholic country with more than 70% of its population connected with the Church of Sweden. Easter is one of the most important festivals of the Christian community observed with immense fervor, enthusiasm, splendor throughout the world. This holy festival honors the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day of his crucifixion and the end of the painful fasting month of Lent. For some people, it is an extended weekend of spring, while others utilize this period for vacation holidays or trips. Easter is known as Paask in Sweden which is a week-long celebration. According to another Swedish legend, during this time, witches acquire more powerful and fly to Blåkulla (the blue mountain) to meet the devil. Easter begins on Palm Sunday where people organize holy processions through the streets, holding small willows to commemorate the arrival of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem.
Local name: Påsk
Ways to celeberate Påsk in Sweden
Easter is a very special time in Sweden. This holy festival begin with Palm Sunday and ends on Easter Sunday. During these days, Swedish people clean their houses and decorate them with birch twigs, brightly colored feathers, and daffodils. Painting and decorating Easter eggs is another important tradition that signifies the beginning of Holy Easter celebrations. In some areas, people set light bonfires and fire shotguns on Easter to ward off evil witches. However, the most special tradition is trick and treating, where children dress up as Easter witches with long skirts, colorful headscarves, and painted red cheeks, go house to house in the neighborhood presenting the residents with paintings and drawings. They are presented with sweets in return. People also send anonymous Easter letters to each other as an ancient tradition and play the popular egg game, Egg Bashing, as part of Easter celebrations. The traditional Easter lunch of Sweden boasts of cured salmon and Jansson’s Temptation (potato, onion and pickled sprats baked in cream) on a smörgåsbord (Easter Table).