Happy Easter = Glad Påsk 

 Glad (pronounced with a long a as in armour) Påsk (the å is pronounced a bit like the O in lock)

 During Easter Swedes eat a lot of eggs (a newspaper wrote 2000 tons, and the total population is only around 9,3 millions….). But not only ordinary eggs are common, a very common gift is an Easter egg which is a paper or plastic egg filled with candy (the sizes vary from 3 inches to 2 feet).

Other common food is cured salmon, roasted lamb, pickled herring (or any other food you will find on a normal Swedish buffet, just like on Midsummer). The big difference is that you find painted/colorful eggs and a lot of yellow (i.e. yellow marzipan on the cake etc).

There is also a tradition to have decorated Easter twigs with feathers and eggs or small witches.

For children it is all about dressing up (often like a witch or monster), walk around the neighborhood to give away paintings called Easter letters and receive candy  (a bit like trick-or-treating).

Easter is mostly about having a few days off from work (the holiday is from Friday to Monday) and spending it with your family. Some visit church to attend mass, not many (but a few more than just a regular Sunday).

 Edit

 

I pimped the twigs this Easter by spraying copper paint on them.

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Semla (Fat Tuesday bun)

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This “Semla” is a typical Swedish pastry eaten from the start of January (but 20-30 years ago they started selling it just a couple of days before Fat Tuesday -17 Feb.) and traditionally made until Easter.

The dough to make the bun is very similar to the cinnamon rolls/buns, but with more cardamom and it is traditionally formed like a bun/bread and baked. Then you slice the top off and fill it with an almond paste (a bit like a soft crude marzipan) and whipped cream, then the top is put back on and as a final touch you sprinkle some icing sugar over. The filling is always the same, but this year many bakeries have tried to be innovative and tried the “Semla” in different shapes like i.e. wrap, hot dog bun, the real one always wins though.

At the moment I am in NY so I guess I have to pay the café Fika a visit (even though I don’t think that all of their cookies and buns/rolls are very Swedish) and hope that they have a “Semla”. Or maybe IKEA will… 🙂