Swedish Witches Wander the Streets

On Maundy/Holy Thursday Swedish children take to the streets dressed as witches. Both boys and girls go door to door, in pinafores and headscarves and carrying brooms and pots, to exchange home made Easter cards for sweets.

The tradition is called to go “påsk-kärring”- literally “Easter Crone” - and is a custom similar to the American tradition of “trick-or-treating” at Halloween. Without the tricks, that is. The tradition has been going on since the beginning of the 19th century.

The custom reached its height of popularity in the 1940’s and 50’s. In recent years the number of children participating has dwindled slightly, and the custom has increasingly become organised by day care centres – at least those open during the Easter holidays.