Your cart
Close Alternative Icon

Danish Easter Traditions

Arrow Thin Left Icon Arrow Thin Right Icon
Danish Easter Traditions

Easter signifies fresh starts, new beginnings, and the continuity of life and legacy even after death. The springtime holiday is celebrated differently in countries across the world, each with its own traditions. You do not have to be religious to join the festivities as it can also be a time of reflection and reunion with loved ones.

Easter is a BIG event in Denmark that spans across a week of activities. Schools usually close for the entire Holy Week leading up to Easter, which is why many Danes take it as an opportunity to take a break and recharge after the long winter. As a brand that is inspired and designed in the country of serene Scandinavian living, Denmark, let us introduce to you some of the unique Danish Easter traditions!

 

Easter Eggs Decoration

Easter eggs are part of the most well-known Easter tradition in many countries and Denmark is no exception. Although the origin of such customs is unclear, it is easy to see why eggs are associated with the spring holiday. Eggs represent rebirth and life, so it is not too far a stretch to associate them with the season of reawakening. People usually give coloured eggs to friends and family as gifts and houses would be decorated with artificial eggs, predominantly dyed in vibrant shades of yellow or green. On the other hand, chocolate eggs would be dyed in a different colour and would never be missed from the Easter lunch table. On Easter Sunday, many Danes would also hide chocolate eggs in the garden for children to participate in the fun family tradition of searching for their sweet treats!

 

Gækkebreve

Image Source: Freya August Mcomish (Scandinavia Standard, 2020)

Gækkebrev, also known as snowdrop letters, is a hyggelig tradition that Danish children look forward to every Easter. Weeks before, children would start cutting up various shapes into a folded square piece of paper which unfolds into a decorated sheet filled with intricately beautiful and elaborate patterns. They will then write down "teaser poems" and mail their unsigned letter to a friend or family. This letter aimed to ‘tease’ someone by making them guess who sent it and the only clue for the receiver is a dot for each letter of the sender’s name. People will also get very creative with distorting their handwriting to not give away their name too easily. Traditionally these small letters always included a Vintergæk (Snowdrop/Galanthus), which is considered the first flower of the year as it emerges right after the end of winter. However, it is also fine if you send a Gækkebrev without them!

Here comes the fun part! Once the letter has been mailed, the receiver will try to guess the identity of the sender. Within a week, the receiver has to figure it out and give the sender a call. Otherwise, the sender earns a chocolate egg. Although, more often than not, the adults will pretend that they do not know who sent the letter, ensuring that the child gets their chocolate egg. Hence, in Denmark, every child that wants an extra Easter chocolate egg will diligently send out Gækkebrev.

 

Sunday Easter Lunch

Image Source: Freya August Mcomish (Scandinavia Standard, 2020)

It's not a celebration for the Danes without a big table filled with delicacies, beer, and snaps (aquavit). Easter lunch is a lavish yet homely affair with plenty of food, alcohol, and not forgetting chocolate eggs for guests with a sweet tooth. Typically, the easter lunch or Påskefrokost consists of dishes like herring and boiled eggs with cress, sliced meats, cheese, and liver paste. Although some traditional households would serve lamb as a homage to Jesus’s sacrifice. Many would also look forward to the special Easter brew beer, or Påskebryg, that is stronger and known by beer sommeliers to be tastier than the average beer. As it is only brewed by Danish breweries during this time of the year, it is definitely worth the try. As you raise your glasses, don't forget to yell “Skål” - the Danish way of saying cheers, and Easter wishes before finishing your drink in a glup.

 

Spreading Happiness

Experience the joy of Easter through an act of kindness. This Easter, give the gift of time to your loved ones. With every watch purchased, August Berg, in partnership with Human Practice Foundation, a Danish not-for-profit organisation will give a child in Africa 6 months of quality education. For every 20,000 watches sold, we will build a school. Here are some of our irresistibly cute and whimsical Forest Hare watches from our Morris and Co. collection that are perfect for the season. Together, let's change the world, one wrist at a time.