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Kids running down the street wearing make-up and head scarfs, dressed as Eastern Witches.
Easter
Photo: Ulf Lundin/imagebank.sweden.se

Overview

Easter in Sweden

Come to Sweden to celebrate Easter and feast on the food.

There are five big days to remember over Easter in Sweden: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Easter Sunday and the Monday after. Shops and banks in Sweden have modified opening hours on these days, and some may close for the holidays. 

Being a secular country, the Easter holiday season is more about celebrating the first long, holiday weekend of spring, than any religious elements. And Sweden celebrates Easter on the eve of Easter Sunday, much like we celebrate Christmas Eve and Midsummer’s Eve.

But what is so special about a break in Sweden over the Easter holiday period? Given that Easter comes anytime between March and the end of April, spring is in the air in much of south and central Sweden and that alone is worth celebrating. In parks and gardens the first blooms of the spring are out, the locals have a spring in their step and the light nights are coming back. In west Sweden, along the Bohuslän coast and out on the islands people celebrate around giant bonfires, in the towns and cities children dress up as witches and go ‘trick or treating’ and on March 25th we have Waffle Day…where people eat waffles. And sweets…lots of sweets.

Swedish Easter in 2019

This year Easter will be celebrated in April. Here are the exact dates for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Easter Sunday and Easter monday.

The dates for Easter holiday in Sweden 2019

April 18  Skärtorsdag / Maundy Thursday

April 19  Långfredagen / Good Friday

April 20  Påskafton / Holy Saturday

April 21  Påskdagen / Easter Sunday

April 22  Annandag påsk / Easter monday

Many shops and banks reduce their opening hours on these specific days, so try to plan important bank errands before or after the holiday or look up the opening hours in advance so you can focus on the feast and celebration instead!

But where to join in the celebrations? 

Celebrate Easter at Skansen open-air museum and zoo in Stockholm. Skansen is on Djurgården island in Stockholm and is a collection of some one hundred and fifty historical buildings and settings from all over Sweden. Over the Easter period it puts on an Easter market, filled to the brim with Easter-themed craft items, sweets and foods. It also has egg-painting classes for kids and other Easter traditions. 

Otherwise, make friends with a Swede and get invited to their second home in the countryside where many of us celebrate Easter with family and friends. Here’s a secret; in Sweden we pretty much serve up the same food at Easter, Christmas and Midsummer festivities – it’s pickled herring, gravad lax, meatballs, eggs topped with fish roe and Jansson’s temptation – a dish of potatoes, onions and anchovies in a cream sauce. All washed down with spiced schnapps.