Photo: cyclonebill, Wikimedia Commons, Licence CC 2.0
It’s February and soon there will be the time for Shrovetide. What does it mean in Scandinavia?
Firstly, you must surely prepare bright carnival costumes and masks. Something like this:
Secondly, you should be careful, because you can be whipped by “the Shrovetide branch”/ fastelavnsriset in order to banish trolls and other evil creatures! And if you are an avid "sleepyhead"- do not expect mercy! By the way, according to traditions, a birch branch should be wrapped with colored paper and decorated with colorful feathers/berries.
Thirdly, your duty is to present beautiful and very tasty Shrovetide buns to everyone.
The kids, of course, take the most active part in the celebration. They walk the streets with birch branches in their hands and singing Shrovetide songs. The kids are treated with candies, Shrovetide buns and coins.
At the end of the holiday all the holiday participants choose the king/queen of carnival. It goes like this: the kids try to smash the barrel, hung on a tree, by using batons. By the way, there are sweets/gifts collected for the day in the barrel. Someone who will be able to smash the barrel, will be the king/queen = happy owner of candies and other prizes.