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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class - “Holidays in Sweden” series at SwedishPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Swedish holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 3: Easter. In Swedish, we call it påsk.
Every year, Easter falls on a different day – between March 22 and April 25. The main day for Swedish people to celebrate is Holy Saturday, which falls on the Saturday before Easter Sunday.
In this lesson, you will learn about Swedish traditions during Easter!
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question? -
Can you guess how many sweets the Swedish population ate during Easter 2010?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
During Easter, there are many different special days. First, there is Maundy Thursday, or skärtorsdag, and it is usually celebrated by the kids going out “Easter witching”! According to ancient tradition, the Easter witch, or påskkärring, is a witch who flies on a broom to Brocken during Maundy Thursday, and returns again on Easter Sunday. On Maundy Thursday, the children go around in groups dressed up as Easter witches, hand out hand-painted Easter cards, and wish family, neighbors and friends a happy Easter. As a thanks, they are treated with sweets!
During Easter, Swedish people eat a lot of food. They eat more or less the same things as at Christmas, but with salmon and eggs as the main dish! Unlike Christmas food, Easter food is a tad lighter, and what is eaten differs a bit from region to region.
Easter Saturday, or påskafton, is the Easter equivalent of Christmas Eve. On Easter Saturday, Swedish children will receive colorful Easter eggs, or påskägg, made of cardboard, filled with sweets! Depending on how creative their parents are, sometimes the kids will go on a treasure hunt and search for the eggs. It’s said that the Easter bunny, or påskharen, is the one who brings the eggs, so it’s more believable for the kids if the eggs are hidden in the garden.
Easter's equivalent of the Christmas tree are the Easter Twigs, or påskris. In Sweden, we bring in birch twigs and dress them with painted eggs and colorful feathers. In public places, the Easter twigs are usually left without water because the leafing of the twigs may cause problems for allergy sufferers.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question.
Can you guess how many sweets the Swedish population ate during Easter 2010?
The answer is 6,000 tons of sweets! The Swedes actually eat about 17 kilograms of sweets per person annually, which is twice as high as the EU average. It is also the highest intake of sweets in the world!
How did you find this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
Will you go Easter witching this year?
Leave us a comment letting us know at SwedishPod101.com. And we'll see you in the next lesson!