For all of you who don’t know me or have recently met me, I was born in the US and lived in Sweden between the ages of 8 and 14 (and am now back again).
As a child I grew accustomed to your classic American Easter egg hunts, Easter baskets, and chocolate bunnies. That was Easter in my mind.
When we moved to Sweden I had no idea what to expect except that it was colder. As a matter of fact, my first words when we stepped off the train that bore us from Copenhagen, Denmark all the way up to Östersund, Sweden was “Brrr, it’s cold!” Differences in temperature existed in my mind, yes. But cultural differences? Not a chance. Not yet.
When I found out that baskets full of chocolate bunnies and the Easter bunny himself were not part of the Swedish Easter tradition, I was disappointed. I was an 8 year old and I loved chocolate (chocolate is still my spirit animal), but little did I know that the Thursday before Easter (“Skärtorsdag”) is Halloween #2 in Sweden. Every Thursday before Easter, Swedish children dress up, bring along a little basket woven out of wood and wander from house to house in hopes of filling their basket with candy. Except they don’t dress up as pirates, or fairies, or Little Red Riding Hood. Instead, they dress up as witches (“påskkärringar”), but the PG kind with cute red cheeks and freckles (broom not included):
Halloween was (and still is) my jam and if I end up having children here one day, I hope they enjoy it as much as I do, because they’ll be celebrating Halloween twice every year. And I might throw in some chocolate bunnies and peeps, just to keep Mericuh alive. 😉