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Swedish Heritage

Swedish Heritage in British Columbia


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Påskris - The Easter Tree

The Easter tree or Påskris, is a bunch of twigs or sticks (usually birch) in a vase with brightly coloured feathers attached to the ends. The Easter tree can be seen all over Sweden this time of the year. You will find it outside shop’s entrances, in people’s living rooms, or in neighbour’s gardens.

The Easter tree is an interesting cultural phenomenon. Some Swedes say it symbolises the wiping away of winter. The twigs represent the broom, and the feathers get caught in the broom as we sweep. Others say it symbolises witchcraft. The twigs are the witch’s broomstick, and the feathers indicate the flight.

The origin of the Easter tree dates to the 1600s. You used the birch branches (björkriset) to playfully whip family members and others in your house in remembrance of Christ’s suffering. The feathers came to use in the mid 1800s and were all over Sweden by around 1930.

From all of us at Swedish Heritage in BC
Happy Easter! - Glad Påsk!


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Celebrating Swedes in Canucks

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World's largest coin?

2 Daler, anno 1740, visit us and learn more


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Benevolence Society SVEA 1908-1968

Come and learn more!


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Swedish Heritage in BC
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