Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter in Sweden

I found this good summary of how the Swedes celebrate Easter:
"While in other countries Easter is specifically a religious holiday, it has become a secular one in Sweden. The Swedes are well down in the statistics when it comes to church visits per year, and even if Easter swells the numbers slightly, most people celebrate it at home with their families and relatives.
Many of the practices associated with Easter have religious origins, but this is not something that bothers Swedes much. They eat eggs because they have always done so — not because they have just completed a fast.
Nowadays, eggs are a favourite accompaniment to the dish of pickled herring that is the centrepiece of most Swedes’ Easter meals. And few associate the omnipresent birch twigs — nowadays decorated with brightly coloured feathers — with the suffering of Christ. Easter has its own rituals.
Children dress up as Easter witches; clad in discarded clothes, gaily coloured headscarves and red-painted cheeks, they go from house to house in the neighbourhood and present the occupants with paintings and drawings in the hope of getting sweets in return.
Having consumed all these sweets, they are then given Easter eggs filled with yet more. Parents of a more ambitious turn of mind let the children search for the eggs themselves in a treasure hunt — following clues and solving riddles until they find their prizes.
A traditional Easter lunch is likely to consist of different varieties of pickled herring, cured salmon and Jansson’s Temptation (potato, onion and pickled sprats baked in cream). The table is often laid like a traditional smörgåsbord. Spiced schnapps is also a feature of the Easter table. At dinner, people eat roast lamb with potatoes au gratin and asparagus or some other suitable side dish." Po Tidholm, 
Dale and I are actually in Switzerland as this posts so we won't get to witness the Easter trick-or-treating, which I'm a little bummed about. Maybe we will see something similar in Switzerland though! I did pick up some Easter soda from the grocery store, that's it in the picture below with some Digestive Crackers.

The soda is just like Coke or Pepsi but with hop extract and malt extract and it's not fermented so it's not alcoholic. It's sort of like a sweet root beer. I thought it was alright but I don't think I'll have any more. Those digestive cookies I had with it though? Those are great! They taste like graham crackers but less sweet. I wish they had a better name because, let face it, digestive cracker just doesn't sound appetizing! Anyway, back to Easter. I also got us each an Easter egg and filled them with candy, that's a quarter to the left of the eggs so you can see how big these eggs are but they are pretty small when compared to the Easter baskets in the States.

It's been interesting walking around town and seeing pictures of kids dressed as witches or chickens with eggs  instead of all the pictures of religious symbols you see in the States for Easter.

Hope you had a great Easter where ever or how ever you celebrated! Or as the Swedes say, Gladpåsk!
Love Always,


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