Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Swedish Easter

Witches, and Bonfires, and Eggs. Oh my!
Trick or treaters would find themselves well suited for Pask (Easter)  During this multi-day fete costumed children and folk tales of flying witches merge as spring overtakes winter in a supernatural swing. Easter marks the time for Swedes to open their country cottages and gather the family. Not to be missed: Birch twig and feather tokens, intricately decorated eggs, and a feast of smorgasbord favorites, including pickled herring, cured salmon, and Jansson's Temptation, a truly tempting potato casserole. Then comes Walpurgis Eve (April 30), a very public celebration of renewal. Ever-tidy Swedes heap their winter refuse -- branches, wooden crates, old doors -- into nationwide bonfires that long ago served to ward off predators from newly released farm animals. Walpurgis fires signify freedom especially for students who, with exams behind them, can envision a long night of partying ahead. Revelers may awaken at leisure to the happenings of May 1, Sweden's Labor Day and a national holiday. 



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