Hopefully all of you across the country are experiencing awesome weather. Wednesday was the first time this year we grilled and dined. YAY! Now, we are in Göteborg celebrating Easter, and it is awesome weather.
At least now you just need a light coat but can done a t-shirt in the afternoon. Since we have a long holiday weekend in Sweden, I’ve been wondering how Swedes celebrate Easter. There’s no work on Good Friday, Långfredag, or Easter Monday, Annandag Påsk.
Celebrating Easter in Sweden is confusing. Swedes aren’t religious enough to go to Church, for the most part, and since few are Catholic, no one is fasting or avoiding meat. It’s kinda a, ‘Christ died, we get a long weekend, there’s sunshine, hallejulah! feeling.’ It’s not common to avoid meat or fast on Good Friday but many Swedes do stick to eggs, a big favorite, sill and lax.
When I was shopping for Easter goodies like plastic eggs and cute chickies and bunnies, I also found witches. On Maudy Thursday the witches go to Blåkulla in Germany to meet and they return back on Påskafton. Kids dress up as witches and basically go ‘trick-or-treating’ as a way to be appeased by neighbors with sweets; otherwise they can play tricks on you.
The great thing in Sweden is that the Easter Bunny has not taken over society and parents are not stupidly buying rabbits as gifts because they’re for “easter.” Yea, if you’re one of those people, shame on you.
Påskafton marks a massive smörgåsbord in the afternoon with family. Easter food is similar to Christmas food though there will be a lot more egg dishes and potatoes. In the evening, we are planning to have a large bonfire, for the practical reason of warding off the witches from playing tricks.
Easter Monday is a red day in Sweden and I have yet to figure out why, except that it’s awesome to have a four day weekend.
While the Swedes are not religious in nature, they do have some typical traditions, mainly the cross between pagan and Christianity. It’s very interesting to see how a modern, western society interprets both ideologies and makes their own culture. Though I found it really funny that no Swedes I met knew about Passover, comparatively to the US where in school we were have a mock Passover dinner or make treats. Matzo easter eggs anyone?