Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images


Scandinavian Easter traditions

Easter marks the end of dark times, winter, in Scandinavia, which is why people rush outdoors at the first sight of the sun. And in the secular north, one thing unites the Scandinavians in their celebrations – candy.

In Norway, the candy of choice is Kvikk-Lunsj, a chocolate bar that’s an essential part of the last ski trip of the year, which in turn, is an essential part of Easter. In the evenings meanwhile, people read detective stories, or watch them on TV, both on the public service NRK and other channels. The Easter case show is a modern Norwegian tradition.

In Denmark, kids make special, often intricate letters – gækkebreve – for their family members and friends, and the recipient has to guess who sent it. The letters are homemade and often look like snowflakes with holes in them. The recipient has three guesses to work out who the sender is. If they can’t, the sender is owed a chocolate egg. And if they do guess the sender – by deciphering a rhyme and counting the number of holes that correspond to the number of letters in the sender’s name – the sender owes them an egg.

Swedes give Easter eggs filled with candy, mostly to kids who go from door to door, dressed up as witches. The children hand out home-made cards as payment. In families, kids get small eggs filled with candy, too. Swedes take their sweets seriously, and Maundy Thursday is often the day most candy is sold in the country. In 2014, the average Easter egg weighed one kilogram.

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