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Most of you have probably heard of the Swedish witches who fly on their broomsticks to Blåkulla (blue hill) on the Thursday before Easter called Skärtorsdag in Swedish. Today.
The tradition is for children to dress up as these witches, Påskharar (easter bunnies) or even black cats (though I think they are quite rare). Both boys and girls get dressed up to walk from door to door asking for candy, quite a lot like Halloween.
Elementary schools and daycares usually have big Easter handicraft days just before all the kids get let off for Easter break. For quite small children even the teachers will get dressed up.
I remember when I was younger, about 10 or so, me and my little brother went around our neighborhood as Påskkärringar. My little brother often got called a girl since he was about 6 and dressed up, actually looked quite like a girl. When we were about finished and on our last house something happened to us that we will remember for the rest of our lives. Our candy, all those hours of hard work walking from door to door, was taken by an old man. We rang the doorbell and gave our hand drawn Easter cards to them, as is the custom. A card for some candy. It is also the custom to hand out your teapot, basket or whatever you are collecting your candy in to the person so they can put some goodies in there for you. The man at our last stop for the day obviously didn’t know the custom of giving candy to the children, so instead he took a couple of pieces of our candy. My little brother and I were so shocked we just stood there. Then when the man wished us a happy Easter we gathered ourselves up and started to gloomily make our way down their driveway home. My little brother was almost in tear at the unfairness of the whole situation. Suddenly, the man opened the door again and his wife pushed him towards us, obviously she had shared the secret and he ran over to us to give us a couple of coins instead. That made us feel a little better, but never will we forget the time when our candy was taken right in front of our eyes by an adult.
The people on these pictures are completely normal Swedes, not my little brother 🙂