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Celebrating Easter in Sweden with Påskris

For a look at how Easter is celebrated in Sweden and across Northern Europe, browse the #påskris hashtag.

In the spring, florists, markets and city centers in Sweden display twigs and trees sprouting some unexpected blooms: feathers.

Påskris, or “Easter twigs,” refer to birch twigs that have been decorated after being cut and tied together. These Easter trees, especially when displayed in the home, are adorned with colorful feathers, eggs and more.

Beginning in the 17th century, Christian Swedes used påskris—without the feathers—to strike one another as a reminder of Jesus’s suffering. During the 18th century, however, påskris transformed into a more vibrant (and less painful) tradition and have spread to other Nordic countries.

Påskris are placed in water-filled vases and provide bursts of color that Sweden’s spring cannot supply due to its harsh and lengthy winters. If one is lucky enough to find twigs with some early blooms, however, the leaves grow and provide natural color to the påskris, bringing the new life of spring into the home. The more courageous locals will also bring these bursts of color outside the home by adorning the trees that line streets and city centers with colorful feathers and decorations to celebrate Easter and welcome the spring.

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The Beautiful Colors of Easter Sunday

How does the rest of the world celebrate Easter? Explore photos from around the world by browsing these hashtags: #pascua, #Pâques, #Ostern, #Πάσχα, #Pasqua, #påsk and #пасха.

You may have noticed an uptick in brightly colored eggs and chocolate bunnies in your Instagram feed today. That’s because it is Easter Sunday!

Easter is one of the most important holidays on the Christian calendar. The New Testament of the Bible says that three days after Jesus was crucified, he rose from the dead. Jesus’s resurrection is the foundation of the Christian faith, symbolizing spiritual resurrection and God’s forgiveness of sin.

Of course, Easter also closely coincides with the beginning of spring in the northern hemisphere. Because of this, many symbols of spring—bunny rabbits, eggs and flowers—have come to be associated with the Easter holiday.

Share your own—and explore other people’s—colorful Easter photos through the #Easter hashtag!