Come on in and let’s have a little fun and explore how the Easter holiday is celebrated in Sweden. Better yet, what the Easter Holiday in Sweden means to me. We’ll take a quick tour around Skåne during the recent Easter break and the Easter (Påsk) holiday weekend.
Easter Break (the week before Easter)
Eva (our Editor) was off from school for the week before Påsk, so we began the holidays with a trip into Lund. She was searching for the perfect feather tree (påskris). There’s a great write-up about the history and the tradition of feather trees as well as Easter over at Watching The Swedes blog. It’s a very interesting tradition that dates back to the 1600’s. Through the years it’s transformed into feather trees and ribbons on trees, some of which have Easter eggs hanging from them. So many choices, so many colors. Which one should it be.
And finally, hidden amongst the vivid colors was her (our) påskris.
You ever try to carry a feather tree home on the train? No problem, we weren’t the only one on the train with a feather tree.
On the other hand I was looking for the International Food Fair. Yep, the 2017 International Food Fair was at Mårtenstorget plaza in Lund that very weekend. Now I wasn’t sure what to expect, but was excited by the prospect of having food vendor from all over serving their best.
Well, I found it interesting, but not the culinary experience I was hoping for. It was a fun adventure, but after strolling around, looking at the smelling the food wagons, I realized they were all alike. The food carts had the same designs and cooking apparatus. Looked to me as it was all one company. So in a sense it was like the old roaming carnivals that traveled city to city, but now it’s a food carnival. People were enjoying though, especially the kids. For me, I must say, I’d settle for the local hot dog vendor.
But the day wasn’t lost, we still had a wonderful time in Lund. Spring was beginning to spring and the first flowers we opening. And of course, they’re always plenty of fresh flowers to be had.
Churches, fields and Wind Machines
During the weekdays of the Easter break mother nature cooperated (somewhat) and we were able to drive around the countryside and enjoy Skåne (like a state or province). Skåne is full of beauty and churches, very old churches. They’re very cool to visit. I truly believe I could visit a church a day and stay busy for years. My local favorite is the Dalby church. It’s, I believe, the oldest church structure in Sweden. The Holy Cross Priory, Dalby dates back to the very early 11th century. Amazing place it is. I’ll not linger here because I have a post dedicated to this church scheduled for summer. Click on the churches for a link to the church website.
The Church of Sweden (Svenska kyrkan), an Evangelical Lutheran faith, was the official religion of Sweden until 2000. Also of interest, is that it’s reported that Sweden has one of the lowest percentage of church goers in the world at 29% claiming to be religious. However, 62% of Swedes claim to be members of the Church of Sweden.
During a drive through the countryside of Skåne, near where we live, you travel through endless kilometers of farms. Skåne Agriculturally is Skåne’s second largest commodity. In the south of Sweden sugar beets, grains and rape seed (Canola oil) are major crops. There are also numerous other crops grown in the area. As a matter of fact, Sweden is considered one of the most agricultural self-sufficient countries in the world.
You might have noticed another prominent fixture here in the countryside. Wind Machines (turbines), they’re everywhere and big ones. Indeed some of the biggest in the world. Up in Northern Sweden they’re building a huge complex of wind machines. When finished in 2020 Markbygden Wind Farm will be comprised of 1100 turbines covering an area of 450 square kilometers (175 sq. miles). These big boys are going to run in height up to 200 meters. That’s over 650 feet! When and if finished, this will also be the biggest wind farm in Europe. Here in Sweden wind currently provides about 10% of the countries power requirement. Also, you’re considered to be very “Green” when you specify that you wish to use electricity from the wind. Of course one pays a premium. Well, in case you can’t tell, I have a bit of a fascination with wind turbines.
Actually, I’ve always wanted to stand/lay right underneath one of these big monsters and I finally did. It was amazing to feel the downdraft of wind from the enormous blades and to hear the low pitched “whompf” sound as the blade makes as it passes. What can I say, I’m easily entertained!
Our new friends over at Ateljé Råbygård were holding their annual “Art Weekend” exhibit. So we went by on Good Friday. We had a wonderful time looking at the artisan ceramic pieces produced there.
These are just a few of the great pieces they had on exhibit.
The old converted farm house is also home to a great little organic sourdough bakery. “The Brödlabbet” (bread lab), as it’s called, is a wonderful small artisan sourdough bread establishment.
It’s rumored that they are baking up some great wood fired pizzas on the weekend.
While there, we couldn’t help but take a moment to watch a little Swedeish Easter Witch pump some much needed water. Well, not sure how much it was needed, but fun to watch.
Now this one has possibilities, plenty of rooms for visitors, a huge kitchen with dining area and very well kept garden. I’m a bit worried about the roof, it could require repairs and I’m not sure how I’d do climbing up there. After much consideration we decided to not pursue either of these and continue our search.
Oh my this lovely home has a formal garden and is surrounded by pristine fields. This must be the one!
Well we decided we’d better check with our local banker regarding financing. It proved to be a positive and fruitful meeting and after the meeting we decided that this might be more appropriate!
So the hunt for our perfect house continues.
As for the four images above this one, they are Swedish castles (Slotts in Swedish). They seem to be everywhere. Some are still owned by the original families and others not. Most are large estates in terms of land holdings. There are over a dozen Slotts within an hour drive or so from our home.
The Answer to “What It Meant To Me” – Finally!
Easter in Sweden was glorious. It was full of family gatherings and faith. It was about great meals, (did I mention family?), train rides, trips in the country, wind machine exploring, looking at houses, lots of wine, churches and most of all spending time with those I love. It also meant missing our family and friends back in the US, that’s what Swedish Easter meant to me!So what did you think of my Easter in Sweden? Let me know by commenting below.