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Easter 2018 and 2019

Easter is a significant holiday in Sweden each year, with three public holidays occurring on Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday.

201830 MarFriGood Friday
1 AprSunEaster Sunday
2 AprMonEaster Monday
201919 AprFriGood Friday
21 AprSunEaster Sunday
22 AprMonEaster Monday
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Two-thirds of Sweden’s population are official members of the Church of Sweden. Yet, this is a decline from earlier times when 95 percent were members, and only two percent attend services regularly. Mostly, church is attended for special occasions, such as weddings, funerals, and Christenings. Some also opt to attend church for holy days like Easter, but Easter has taken on a much more secular appearance in Sweden in recent decades.

The Swedes do keep up a good number of Easter traditions, and some of them have religious roots to them, but most keep them as a matter of custom or just for pure enjoyment rather than for religious reasons.

Boiled and painted Easter eggs are a major Easter tradition in Sweden. The eggs are usually decorated by first punching a tiny hole in each end of the egg and then blowing out the white and yolk. Watercolour paint, ordinary paint, dyes, and glued-on decorations all can become part of the final artistry of these eggs.

The most notable decoration this time of year are “Easter branches.” Brightly coloured feathers are attached to small willow or birch branches, which are then put in a vase and set on display. The tradition only dates from the 19th Century, but it was originally meant to remind of sufferings of Christ on a cross of wood.

Holy Saturday is the day when Swedish families gather together for an Easter lunch or dinner and family fellowship. The feast is a smorgasbord of food, typically washed down with a bit of Swedish snaps.