Witches, riddles & whodunnits: Scandi Easter traditions

Spend some time in Sweden over Easter and you may find yourself feeling like it’s actually Halloween. The Swedes have a positively wicked tradition similar to “trick or treating” where children dress up as witches (or påskkärringar) and go door to door collecting money and sweets. The tradition stems back to an ancient belief that on Maundy Thursday (the day before Good Friday), all the witches in Sweden would hop on their broomsticks and fly to the Blue Mountains for a ghoulish celebration. Two Halloweens a year sounds like fun to us!

Similarly spooky, Norwegians like to pass the time over the long weekend reading gory crime novels. A Norwegian Easter is synonymous with Easter thrillers (known as Påskekrimmen) which is why this is the most popular time of the year for books like this to be published. While there doesn’t seem to be any real historical origin, it’s an extremely widespread tradition with mini-thrillers popping up in the strangest of places including milk cartons and Norwegian TV putting out a chilling line up of crime series and horror movies. Curling up on the couch with a whodunit and a pile of Easter eggs is a hygge Easter tradition that we can really get behind!

Perhaps a little more light-hearted than their Scandi neighbours, children in Denmark earn their Easter eggs by outsmarting their parents with riddles sent in secret. They cut paper into pretty snowflake-like patterns then thread through a snowdrop to symbolise the coming of Spring. Known as “teaser letters” these always include a riddle and (…) in place of the sender’s name. If the parent can’t guess who the letter is from, then the sender gets a chocolate egg. If they guess correctly, then the sender must give a chocolate egg to them. You’d be surprised how many parents in Denmark just can’t seem to guess who their teaser letter is from…

Of course it wouldn’t be a Scandi Easter without eggs. Chocolate eggs, beautifully painted eggs, paper eggs filled with sweets and of course the many wonderful ways our friends in Scandinavia use eggs in traditional cooking. Here at KuPP, we’re celebrating Easter by combining our favourite thing about Easter – chocolate – with one of our favourite Swedish staples – pancakes. Our Swedish Head Development Chef has whipped up the most decadent of pancake dishes layered with custard and blueberry jam, piled high with fresh berries, dusted with icing sugar and simply dripping in white and dark chocolate sauce. We’re taking full advantage of this chocolaty time of year and serving these up from breakfast to after-dinner dessert for the whole long weekend. Any time is pancake time at KuPP!