I love Easter! If I’m honest I love most holidays because you usually get to spend them with family and/or friends and there are few things I appreciate more than quality time with friends and family. But there’s something special about Easter. When I grew up in Sweden we had the same Easter traditions every year. And when Easter came around, it usually meant that spring was around the corner, which is probably the best time of the year! Here’s a fun fact though: I’ve never celebrated an American Easter. So I thought I’d share a little bit about the Swedish Easter traditions I grew up with!
When I was little I loved Easter because it involved games, eggs, paint, dress-up, and lots and lots of candy. In Sweden we have some Easter traditions that may seem a bit odd. Like the fact that kids dress up like Easter witches because of an old tale of witches that flew to Blåkulla – the ‘blue hill’ – on their broomsticks the Thursday before Easter to celebrate with the devil. Me and my sisters would usually dress up and go around the neighborhood to wish our neighbors “Happy Easter” and hand out little Easter gifts that we made, usually a cute card or a paper chicken. It’s sort of like a mini-Halloween!
On Easter (which is celebrated on Saturday in Sweden) I and my family would always go to my grandmother’s house. There we would start by painting eggs that we would later use to play with. We would always play two traditional Easter games: egg rolling and egg knocking. The first one you might think is similar to the Easter egg roll held on the White House lawn every year – it’s not! Egg rolling is done in different ways in Sweden, but in our family we did it the same way every year. We would spread out a bunch of chocolate eggs on a blanket and then roll our painted eggs down a tilted roof tile to try to hit as many eggs as possible, because the ones you hit were the ones you won. When we were done with that we would move on to the next game: egg knocking, which is exactly what it sounds like! You just knock the tip of two eggs together and the one who’s egg doesn’t crack win. It’s sort of pointless but we eat a million eggs on Easter anyway so the eggs are never wasted.
After the games we eat the traditional Swedish holiday cuisine – smorgasbord! It’s always filled with eggs, a million different types of herring, salmon in various forms, Jansson’s Temptation (a creamy potato dish), cold smoked ham, Swedish meatballs, tiny sausages, a bunch of different cold sauces, and a lot more. To that we drink lots and lots of Påskmust!
The best part of Easter comes after the smorgasbord – the Easter egg hunt! In Sweden we don’t hunt for a lot of small eggs, we each get an individual larger egg packed with candy. This was always my favorite part of Easter! Except for the part about spending time with my family of course.
I hope you're all having an amazing Easter!