My love of cultural anthropology and my studies of world religions have enriched and enlightened my life. I am always seeking new information about other cultures because not only is it educational, but it also brings into sharper focus how much we have in common with each other, not only across cultural and national boundaries, but even throughout time. This is particularly true with traditions and holidays.
Imagine my delight to learn of the Easter Witch!
In Sweden and Finland, Easter traditions are similar to Halloween traditions in the U.S.
They combine the use of colored Easter eggs and candy, and the children dress up, mostly as little witches. They go door to door, offering their willow twigs, and in return for treats of candy, they offer a little blessing which they recite.
Virvon, Varvon! (These words indicate the Witch is waving their willow switch!)
Tuoreeks, Terveeks (Fresh, Healthy -)
Tulevaks, Vuodeks! (- Forthcoming Year!)
Vitsa sulle! (Twig for you!)
Palkka mulle? (Reward for me?)
Read more about it at An Arctic Rainbow of Colour.
There is also a more sinister tale of superstitions surrounding the Easter Witch.
Read more about that at The Bitten Apple.
Jezebel.com has also provided us with some history surrounding the Easter Witch.
In the mid-19th century, children began to disguise themselves as witches on Maundy Thursday wearing headscarves, painting red circles on their cheeks, and carrying copper kettles. Then, Petrulis writes, they would go from house-to-house delivering handmade good-luck tokens, usually a sprig of pussy willows, in exchange for candy….
Read the full article Keep Your Eyes Peeled for Easter Witches.