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Easter Traditions and Celebrations in Sweden

Easter is the most important holiday in all Christian countries. Easter is traditionally a Swedish family celebration. Special Easter decorations are common in Sweden. They don't have Easter bunnies, but they do have Easter witches, they joke with each other, and they have Good Friday off.

Easter Celebration in Sweden

Easter celebrations in Sweden

The Swedes call it Påskdagen.

Throughout the country the egg, symbol of life and resurrection, is featured in all Easter food and Easter games. Every household has egg colouring parties. Egg rolling contests are the favourite Easter activity of younger boys and girls.

The platter is borrowed from Christmas and midsummer, comprising snaps, potatoes and herring. This constitutes most Easter suppers.

What is unique to Sweden and Swedish culture is celebration of the Maundy Thursday, or Skärtorsdag. It is believed that all witches fly off to a place called blåkulla, to celebrate the occasion with the devil. Swedes light up Easter fire to scare off the witches on their way to blåkulla, or while they come back from blåkulla. Kids have a gala time, as they dress up as witches (påskkärringar), to collect candies and chocolates from households, much like Halloween.

A Swedish girl dressed up as an Easter witch

Sweden has also gained international fame for decorative of birch twigs, which are found on streets and houses at this time. They are decorated with coloured feathers and other decorative items and are a reminder of Christ’s sufferings for mankind. They are also placed in vases, inside homes. This tradition is unique to Sweden.

Palm Sunday is observed with palm fronds. The Easter Eve is celebrated with bonfires. Shooting of fireworks lives on as the tradition.

Easter Tradition in Sweden

Easter celebrations in other European countries

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