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Come and learn about a Norwegian Easter

On Sunday, April 7, at 2 p.m., Nordic ladies can attend the Mina Aasen #55 Daughters of Norway meeting for a presentation on Nordic Easter Traditions and a chance to make their own Easter tree, known as a “Paskris.” The meeting will take place in the North Room of the Minot Public Library.

Paske, or Easter Traditions, give Norwegians a chance to celebrate the arrival of spring after the long, dark winter and eagerly welcome a chance to spend time with friends and family over a lengthy break from work and school.

Traditionally, Norwegian shops and work places are closed over Maundy Thursday, known as “skjoertorsdag,” over Good Friday, known as “langfredag,” and the Monday following Easter Sunday, known as “andre paskedag,” or the Second Easter Day. Schools are usually closed for the entire week, however, “Easter at home” does not mean that they do not go anywhere. There are many locally arranged events at Easter from local Easter skiing to an Easter Parade in Oslo, which began as a public walk in the middle of the 1800s.

Norwegians also like to go shopping, the so-called “harrytur” or “Sverigedag” is now a common practice especially during Easter where Norwegians drive into Sweden and shop at the cheaper Swedish shopping centers near the Norwegian border, particularly in Stromstad.

Reading crime stories and detective novels during Easter is a national trait in Norway. Each year, nearly every TV and radio channel produces a crime series for Easter. The milk company prints crime stories on their cartons and in order to cash in on this national pastime, publishers churn out series of books known as “Easter Thrillers” or Paskekrim.

Nobody quite knows why but for some reason, Easter is a high time for reading crime stories and detective novels in Norway.

Family gatherings are planned and meals with the traditional Norwegian Easter lunch consisting of boiled potatoes, vegetables with lamb meat and Easter beer is served. The meal is followed by a selection of delicious cakes and desserts as well as the Easter eggs. The lunch table is decorated with daffodils and other Easter decorations.

Churches conduct services through the Easter holiday with higher attendance rates than on a normal Sunday. Many Norwegians choose Easter as one of their designated biannual visits to church.

Another Easter tradition unique to Norway is the mountain trip, where Easter is celebrated up in the mountains enjoying the sunshine, skiing, eating oranges and Kvikk Lunsj, a famous chocolate bar that is a crunchy wafer covered with milk chocolate.

Easter Sunday in Norway starts with a good Easter breakfast. Fresh bread and eggs, usually colored, are an important part of the meal. The table is decorated with Easter goods and children have made the Paskris (Easter tree), to decorate the home and table.

Most Norwegian children receive Easter eggs on Easter Eve, but some have to wait for Easter Sunday. Tradition has it where the Easter Bunny comes with eggs on Easter Sunday and hides them around. The children are often up early and go hunting for eggs.

Potential members interested in attending the April 7 event should call Sue at 838-5710 or send an email to minalodge55@gmail.com to RSVP. Refreshments will be served.

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