Chickens. Daffodils. But where’s my chocolate Easter egg?
Sweden wins Christmas, I’ll give them that. Santa was from these parts so they know what they are doing in this regard. So, I’ve gotta give it to them, the Swedes put on a bloody great Christmas with their below zero temperatures, snow covered landscapes and warm mulled wine. Sure standing around the BBQ in Sydney, with 37°C heat and threats of bush fires whilst watching the plum pudding melt has its charm too, but if you really want to experience the perfect Christmas, Sweden wins the yuletide Olympics.
BUT DON’T GET ME STARTED ON EASTER. They don’t know what they are doing with this celebration. They seemed to have been stuffing this season up since the times of Christ, and things haven’t gotten any better since then.
Easter in Sweden, what’s gone wrong and where:
For Sweden, Easter’s all about witches. I mean what’s Easter without the resurrection of a good old pagan tradition? Apparently all the world’s bad spirits were let loose the minute Judas betrayed Jesus and since, there’s only been trouble. Then, during the 17th century and according to Swedish folklore, during Easter all witches would fly to Blåkulla (the Blue Mountain) to “meet” – have an orgy with – the devil. This all ties in with the 17th century witch-hunts where a lot of women (funnily enough) were executed. And what a festive little celebration for Swedish children to re-enact! Every year. Yes indeedy, Swedish children dress up as Easter hags/witches, with oversized skirts, red headscarves and painted faces and go around neighbourhood exchanging drawings for candy. How sweet.
If you were to rock up in Sweden about this time you would be sure to find a smorgasbord of treats on the dinner table. Meatballs, small sausages, herring, cooked and smoked salmon, potatoes, stuffed eggs, and spiced schnapps. Sweden, you have got to be kidding me. HELLO, THIS IS WHAT WE EAT AT CHRISTMAS. You can’t just whack in a few extra eggs and voila, it’s an Easter menu. Oh come on! And don’t get me started on Påskmust/Easter soda, the infamous cherry soda like cola drink that tastes exactly the same as the stuff WE DRINK AT CHRISTMAS. The only flavour that is different is the label.
Chickens. Daffodils. A few colourful feathers. But not one God damn chocolate Easter egg. I’m telling you Sweden, if you don’t get your act together by next year, I’m leaving. Sure it’s eggs galore at your local supermarket but instead of making them out of cardboard, I’ve got a better idea, why don’t you do what most other countries do and make them out of chocolate. Yes, chocolate. 20 parts sugar to one part cocoa, one part fat, it’s the perfect equation. You seem to be eager to embrace most other trends, so why not this one? Forget your bit of cardboard/plastic egg filled with sweets and goodies and get me a solid, cocoa filled deliciously large egg that’s going to keep me quite until the end of the long weekend.
What I’m trying to do about it:
For years now I’ve been trying to compensate for the whole cardboard versus chocolate Easter Egg debacle by importing my own Australian Easter traditions into Sweden. So far I’ve tried introducing hot cross buns, the Easter Hat Parade, a lamington drive, Sydney’s Royal Easter Show and perhaps my most challenging import to date, changing spring into autumn.
At this stage nothing seems to be sticking but I’ll get back to you.
[Photos courtesy of Per-Erik Berglund + Lola+Akinmade + Fredrik Nyman/imagebank.sweden.se ]
What’s your favourite Easter treat and has anyone been fucking with it lately?