Tales from the Northern Forests
The first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox of 21st of March is when Easter is celebrated in most parts of the Northern Forests.
In Finland children disguise themselves as witches and carry twigs and coffeepots. They hand out willow twigs, decorated with colourful feathers and crÍpe paper, in return for chocolate eggs and sweets, to drive away evil spirits and chant a traditional rhyme, which translates as 'A twig for you, a treat for me!'
The decorating or painting of eggs is not only a tradition in Finland but all over Europe, from England to Russia, and was brought to the North of America by European settlers.
Another tradition is the egg hunt. Eggs are hiding all over the house and garden and the children go hunting for them on Sunday morning.
Some say this old custom is related to the simple reality of free-range hens tending to lay their eggs in all sorts of different places.
Why did the Easter Egg hide?
'Cos it was a little chicken!