Monday 6 April 2015


Easter came and went and I had lots of chocolate, pasha and red wine!
As usual I did not really decorate at home other than with last-minute flowers.

And pussy willow branches.

A lot of them; Eddi went out and got a bunch for the kids- which they need for the Easter witch tour - and got a little too many (add " and ") so I filled all the vases we have, both big and small, with branches all around the house. Instant Easter-feel.

Pussy willow branches are a part of the tradition here, where kids go around houses begging for candy and in return hand over a decorated branch, wishing the receiver good luck for the year to come by saying a rhyme. It is a mix of Eastern (Russian Orthodox) tradition and a more western  (the coastal areas of Finland as well as a Swedish tradition) pagan custom about witches flying to Blåkulla (Blockula or Kyöpelinvuori) during this time.

The branches the children hang out are decorated with feather and crepe paper etc. I don't know how I've managed to not do anything about this previous years, but the same morning I realised we had no feathers or other suitable material to pimp the branches with. I had to get a little creative and improvise decorations; I had a set of glitter gift wrapping ribbons left from Christmas which did the trick.

They turned out rather decent. In the back you can see the ones we received that were "properly" done.  Here in the more western parts of Finland kids go on Saturday, whereas in the city we used to (and they still do) go on Sunday. Sunday is the orthodox tradition for good luck and Saturday is the day of the witches. You can read more about it here for example.)

The Easter witch is most commonly pictured flyhing on a broom with a kettle and a black cat. While most kids dress up as witches you can see bunnies and cats too . It is very much like Halloween in that sense, without the tricks.

I had a face painting kit waiting for the kids to make great faces for the walk but I had forgot it at home in the city. More improvising ahead... my make up bag; lipstick, white and black kohl pencil as well as my eyebrow color had to do.

And it turned out pretty good too! Dag's older brother had the bunny hood I made for him some years back which he always wears. I had promised to make Dag a lion ("an Easter lion" - not that it has anything to do with anything at this time of year, but hey, the kid loves lions!) and we had his lion hat and all but as I did not have the brushes or the colours he got to be the witche's cat instead. Which he was happy with in the end. I did some yet more improvising, this time with a muesli box, a black marker and tape and made hime a pair of ears.

Apart from chocolare and the pasha my mother makes mämmi (memma) is a must for Easter. It's actually a rather healthy treat.  Not that all people see it as a treat... I don't have mine the traditional way with cream and sugar but like to have it with something more fresh. This year I had it for breakfast (yes some people think I'm crazy but hey, it's filling and full with fibres and the organic version has no added sugar) together with fresh pineapple and mango and it worked!
I dare any other Finns to try.


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Jennings said...

Great Design.Good to see kids in the outfit.
Keep the good work going.
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Sara Kristiina said...

I did not remember to decorate my home at all this Easter. Those decorated branches look awesome and so does the boys' costumes! Yay!