Witches In Sweeden













    Sweedish Legend tells of the Easter witches. On Mondy, Thursday, the
    Thursday before Easter, it is said the witches ride on broomsticks to have a
    meeting with the devil at Blakulla. It is unclear whether Blakulla is an island or
    a mountain top, but once there, the witches fill their cauldrons and, while
    stirring the steaming concoction, utter incantations.

    The witches and witch magic can be accompanied by cats, usually black but
    occasionally white. The Swedish witch is easy to identify because, besides her
    cat, she usually has a coffee pot riding on her broomstick or nearby. Greetings
    for Easter are "Glad Pask," "Rolig Pask" or "Treflig Pask."

    It is the tradition in Sweden on Maundy Thursday for farmers to protect
    their barns with witch magic and crosses placed above the door or steel bars
    across the door sills. They lock up their plows and never, never leave brooms
    around that a witch can ride away. Bonfires are lit and guns shot into the air,
    all as means of keeping a witch from the door.

    Sweden celebrates Maundy Thursday much like Halloween is celebrated here.
    Children dress as witches, carry coffee pots and go from door to door asking
    for candy or money.

    This unusual Easter celebration is well documented on picture postcards. The
    witches with their pets and coffee pots travel through the skies on brooms
    shouting Easter greetings.

    The Easter witches do not look as scary as the traditional Halloween witch.
    Easter witches never dress in the Halloween black. However, they nearly
    always wear a babushka. The traditional dress of the Easter witch is a house
    dress, belted at the waist, and an occasional apron. The colors are usually red
    or green. The Easter witch wears slippers, army-like boots, or even high heels
    on her feet -- no set tradition there. The witches can be old women, young
    women, or even children; some are attractive, but most are not.
    I like our scary American witch better. Don’t you?

    References
    Kars, A. C. Witchcraft in Europe, 400-1700: A Documentary History. 2000.

    Levack, B. P. Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe. 2006.

    Murray, M. A. Witch-Cult in Western Europe: A Study in Anthropology. 2012.