Thursday, 9 April 2009

Holy or Maundy Thursday is Skärtorsdag in Swedish

And Skärtorsdag literally means pink Thursday (not too sure about that one).

According to folk law today is the day the Witches flew to Blåkulla to consort with the devil. This resulted in all sorts of activities to make their journey more difficult, such as hiding broomsticks and rakes so the witches could not fly on them, painting crosses on their front doors and lighting the odd bonfire to scare them away.

These days the tradition is for kids to dress up as Easter witches, with scarves on their heads, brightly colored clothing, rosy cheeks and painted on freckles. The go from door to door in their neighborhood handing out hand-made Easter cards and wish their neighbors Happy Easter.
We had a little Easter witch knock on our door this morning, only to return a few minutes later to collect her friend. Once the two of them announced they were heading off their brothers wanted to join them and it wasn't too long before they all headed off.

30 minutes later they had handed out all their cards and had 2 baskets filled with candy, chocolate, sultanas, chips & apples!

But they are so cute, how could anyone refuse them?

2 comments:

  1. 'skär' comes from the old verb 'att skära' which to wash/clean. it's to commemorate the Lord washing the feet of the disciples on the day of the last supper.

    don't you just love how strongly some quaint 'witchy' aspects of folklore live on in sweden? thanks for sharing. i must admit i feel homesick now...

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  2. This is so adorable! I love reading about the different holiday traditions that exist in the world. Here in Spain, the Catholicity of the country has pretty much taken over any "quaint witchy aspects" that could have lived on in these holidays. Still, witches are pretty big here, especially in the north where I live.

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