4/12/2009

Påsk - Swedish Easter





When I was much younger, every year at the easter holidays many people were coming to the island where we were living to celebrate the Easter days. Because our island is so small, it mostly got very crowded. Thats why my dad decided to go away as well, preferable somewhere where tourists would not go at Easter. So, we started traveling to Sweden every year.
It meant to drive to the North and even driving back in the vegetation zones. We were happy about the warmer temperatures, tulips and sun and then we drove into cold regions, the lakes were still frozen, the weather was mostly much colder... but we definitely didn't found much tourists, there.
What we found were small nice cities and the trees decorated with colorful feathers. This is not usual in Germany, as we only decorate with eggs and so we already brought multicolored feathers from our first trip to Sweden and in all following years we were decorating the trees in our garden with feathers, as well. That we were the only one on our island, who was doing so, was of course part of the fun.
But, because my island (Island of Poel) was just around 100 years German again, after belonging many hundred years to Sweden, we felt, that it is also a very traditional thing to do.
When I came to Canada, I remembered this tradition and bought feathers, too.
They are inexpensive, not destroyable from my cats and are looking slightly more natural than plastic eggs.
While trying to find other pictures for the feathers and also reasons for this tradition, I saw, that there are not just feathers, but even a lot of pictures of small cute Easter witches available... and I wanted to show them here, too...
The Children are walking from door to door, to collect candy and they give therefore pussy willows or birch branches with feathers on it, to them. These is a mixture of the tradition of blessing the house with willow branches (in Christian tradition it would have been palm leaves, but these leaves are quite rare in Sweden) and the Scandinavian Easter witch. The Easter witch is part of an old superstition, that the witches are very powerful during the Easter week and are making their black magic, before flying to the mountain or island Blåkulla to meet the devil. Nowadays it is a more cheerful and funny tradition and on every Thursday before Easter or on Easter Eve, you can see the small witches visiting their neighbors..





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