Counting down to (Danish) Easter


[This post is also published over at – the official website of
Denmark run by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs]

School closes on Friday for Easter break and my kids, as they say in Danish, kan ikke få armene ned!” (can’t get their arms down).  I’ve seen lots of large chocolate eggs in the Danish shops but haven’t yet got over the price of them got round to buying any yet.  (Yes, yes, we’ve been eating mini marcipan ones for the last fortnight but, hey, they don’t count…)

But this weekend we need to get busy making Gækkebreve – Secret Snowdrop Letters – an important part of Danish Easter.  Don’t know what they are?  Here’s an old post I wrote about them.  Watch and learn! 🙂

You’ll need:

  • white and coloured paper
  • glue or a gluestick
  • a pair of scissors

Choose a coloured piece of paper for
your paper ‘doily’.  Fold it in half, then in half again.  Draw a rough shape and
cut out.  If you’ve never done this kind of thing before, keep it simple!  The
Danes are world-famous for their intricate papercutting. Hans Christian Andersen
(you know, the one who wrote all those fairytales) was an expert.  I’ve only
lived here for 10 years, so I’m still learning…

Open up up the paper and you should
have something that looks like this.

Stick it on to a plain white piece of
paper.  I used a gluestick.  And it’s fine if it isn’t perfectly stuck
down all over – it just gives it an even better 3d effect 😉

Then you write a little poem on

Henne bag ved havens hæk, fandt jeg denne

Hej, min hvide lille ven, nu er turen din

Du skal gå til min ven, hviske så kan han

han må gætte prikke små, for et påskeæg at

. .

But if your family and friends aren’t
Danish, you’ll probably want one in English, right?  Here you are:

Snowdrop, snowdrop, snowdrop fine,

Omen true of hope divine,

From the heart of winter bring

Thy delightful hope of spring.

Guess my name I humbly beg.

Your reward: An Easter-Egg.

Let these puzzling dots proclaim

Every letter in my name

. .

As you can see, you don’t sign your
name.  You draw a large dot for every letter of your name.  If the person who
receives the letter guesses who it comes from, you have to give
them an Easter egg.  But if they can’t guess, they have to give
you an Easter egg.  Ha!  So disguise your handwriting and be creative.  I
put in three dots for M.U.M.! 😉

The final touch is to pick a snowdrop from your
garden (or draw one if you can’t find any near you!), add it to the letter and
send to a friend.

Good luck!

Hope you have a wonderful ………!