THE STORY BEHIND SWEDEN’S “EASTER WITCHES”
BLUSHING UP ON
Easter celebrations and traditions for the secular Swede are nearly as sacred as Christmas to the Swedish culture. Even devout atheists have been known to pay respect to the long standing traditional norms that the holiday dictates in Sweden.
So what do witches have to do with Easter? Folklore alleges that witches became especially powerful during this
time of year and would fly on broomsticks to dance at Blåkulla (Blue Mountain).
Swedish translation: Påskkäring translates to “Easter Witch”
Today this tradition is celebrated on the eve of Easter Sunday, when Swedish children dress up as Påskkärringar
(Easter hags). Dressed up as old ladies, they paint their faces with rosy cheeks and freckles, grab their brooms,
and knock on neighbor’s doors for treats, much like we do in America on Halloween.