Easter is celebrated very differently in Sweden and in fact it surprised quite a few people when I said that at home I would go to church. Was kind of bummed that I missed the Easter convention this year, especially since my Dad was serving, but am still thankful for the reason for the season and this new experience.
Easter (Påsk) is the first major holiday after New Year and the start of good weather in Sweden so it is a time where families would get together for a big meal. On Easter morning, I received my first Påskägg from Gun (Jens’s Mum) which was filled with Swedish candy.
Jens shared with me that when they were younger, their grandmother would hide these eggs in the forest and they would then head out to find them. She was so good at hiding them that usually they wouldn’t be able to find all of them. Even though we are past the Easter egg hunt age, it was still fun to receive an egg!
Usually the kids would also dress up as witches and knock on neighbours doors to ask for candy. I didn’t get to see any this year but Gun did show me a picture of Jens via Facebook and I could not recognise him, hahaha.
Typical Easter decorations that you would see everywhere are these branches with feathers tied to them (aka Påskris). They are mostly just decorative now but the initial meaning behind them was to represent the suffering that Jesus went through.
Finally, the food! A big meal in Sweden would comprise of both cold and hot dishes. An Easter smörgåsbord is pretty similar to a Christmas meal, complete with the standard Easter drink (Påskmust). Hardboiled eggs, salmon and pickled herring are the most important “dishes” in an Easter meal.
The picture above was my cold plate dish where I had some Spinach, egg and cheese pie, Salmon with creamy caviar sauce, Hardboiled eggs and Beetroot salad. As you can see, I carefully avoided the herring because it looked too frightening for me. One of Jens’s relatives tried to convince me that it was “just like sushi” but it did not work. I must say that I have tried herring twice since then and am okay with those that are covered with creamy sauce, lemon and dill. It still doesn’t taste anything like the salmon sashimi I love but apparently eating a little bit each time can help to improve your tolerance towards it. Maybe one day I would learn to love it. One day.
So yes, this is a very brief summary of what Easter is like in Sweden which in essence, is a unique mix of witches, eggs and bunnies.
Till the next time!