Hi everyone and happy Easter!
After having spent last year’s Easter in Sweden with my boyfriend’s family, I decided to return home to celebrate this year’s Easter in Germany. And of course, this allows for some fun comparison of the different traditions. Now, with my cultural glasses on, totally absorbed by German culture, Swedish Easter traditions seem a bit funny.
In Sweden, children dress up as witches and go around the houses to collect candy. First of all have I never met anyone dress up as a witch elsewhere, and secondly Swedes seem to have mixed up Easter with Halloween (or maybe Halloween is a copy of Swedish Easter?).
A year ago, I have even been in church to watch my boyfriend’s cousin play Jesus. I believe many religious people in Germany go to Church during Easter as well, but it has in fact been my first time last year. Something both countries have in common is the obsession with eggs – colouring, searching and eating. Although I have not been allowed to search for eggs and gifts last year in Sweden, this is a common tradition in Germany. Usually we would go outside to do that, but due to a rather snowy Easter, we — ehm I mean the Easter Bunny had to hide the gifts inside the house. This is another character that I have rarely heard of in Sweden and I just read that it came there from Germany.
Eating, generally, seems to be very popular, once again, like on almost every holiday. Whereas it seems though that in Sweden the food is quite similar to what you would eat on other holidays – herring, salmon, eggs, meat balls, etc. (yes another smörgåsbord :P) – in Germany, we usually eat very special food, such as lamb or rabbit. This seems odd with regard to that we are Easter Bunny believers 😉 I remember once when I was very young I cried all Easter Sunday because my grandma cooked the Easter Bunny. And then on Saturday evening, we have big bonfires in Germany, which are supposed to dispel evil spirits and the cold winter – acknowledgly unsuccessfully this year as it was still snowing this morning.
Another thing that is similar, yet different, is decoration. Although we do like our twigs in both countries, Swedes usually decorate theirs with colourful feathers, whereas we Germans put hollow Easter eggs and other small figures, such as bunnies and chicks, on the branches.
It is interesting to see, how two countries that are so close still have such different traditions. Next year I should try dressing up as a witch as well to tap some candy 🙂 How are you celebrating Easter in your country?