Easter in Stockholm
From egg hunts and Easter markets to Easter services in English and other offbeat events, Lola A. Åkerström rounds up some cool local Easter activities worth checking out.
Editor’s Note – This article will be continually updated each year to reflect current traditions around Easter in Stockholm. Last updated – April 14, 2017.
With Easter (Påsk) just around the corner, here are a few offbeat and fun events to check out this weekend in Stockholm.
A bit about local Easter in Stockholm traditions
If you’re traveling to Stockholm over the Easter weekend, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Modified opening hours
There are five days when businesses may probably be shut down: Maundy Thursday (Skärtorsdag), Good Friday (Långfredag), Holy Saturday/Easter Eve (Påskafton) Easter Sunday (Påskdagen), and the Monday after Easter Sunday (Annandag Påsk). Many banks and stores usually have modified opening hours on Maundy Thursday or may be completely shut down for the four-day holiday weekend starting on Friday. Feathers and decorated twigs
A clear sign that Easter (Påsk) has arrived are colorful fluorescent feathers decorating any available twig or tree branch around town.
Because palm trees are not indigenous to Sweden, feathered twigs (Påskris) were used historically (think 1600s-1700s) to symbolize the palm fronds that were placed on the ground for Jesus during his return to Jerusalem, commemorated every Palm Sunday one week before Easter.
It wasn’t until the 1900s that these feathers became more decorative, losing their original significance. Today, brightly-colored feathers are used to boost spirits as Swedes emerge from long dark winters looking forward to a vibrant spring.
Children dressed up as witches
While you might wonder which holiday Stockholm is celebrating – Halloween or Easter – upon sight, Sweden’s pagan roots have connected the holy celebration to old folklore surrounding witches. So what you’ll find are young children dressed up as witches (Påskkärringar) running around knocking on doors and collecting coins or candy for their Easter eggs.
Events worth checking out
From Thursday to Monday, there’s an Easter market held at Skansen, Stockholm’s iconic open-air museum and traditional park. There you can browse through and buy crafts, decorations, traditional foods, as well as check out a ton of Easter activities.
Easter Church Services in English
While many churches around town will be offering services in Swedish, if you’re looking for a place to worship and to pay respects over the Easter holiday, Immanuelskyrkan is a popular church with an international and diverse congregation and it offers services in English. There will be a Good Friday service as well as one on Easter Sunday.
Easter Egg Hunts
The Royal Palace organizes a golden egg hunt as well as sing-a-longs and other Easter themed activites for children. The egg hunt takes place in the palace’s state rooms with free admission for kids.
At the popular sculpture museum Millesgården, kids can enjoy an Easter egg hunt. They pick up a piece of paper with an Easter rhyme from the reception desk and the rhyme gives them the clues needed to find colored plastic eggs which can then be traded for chocolate eggs. It costs 20 SEK to participate.
The Bergius Botanical Garden also organizes Easter egg hunts at the Edvard Anderson conservatory.
Stockholm Tap Festival
Put on your tap dancing shoes and head over to the Stockholm Tap Festival. The festival offers classes taught by some of the best tap dancers in the world, jam sessions, performances, and after-parties over the Easter weekend and following week.
Museum hopping around Stockholm
Most of the larger museums in town like Vasa Museet, Fotografiska, and Skansen will run their normal operating hours but be sure to check out the websites of museums you’re interested in visiting to see what their modified Easter opening hours are.
It’s important to note that many museums are closed on Annandag Påsk, the Monday after Easter Sunday so bear this in mind when planning your travels. Here are some offbeat museums in Stockholm you can explore.
For more events – concerts, gigs, shows, theater productions, and plays – happening over Easter weekend, check out our What’s On page in partnership with DoToday Stockholm.