2012/10/26

Illustration Friday: "Haunt"

Well, since this week's challenge is obviously related to All Hallows' Eve and I'm Swedish and we don't celebrate halloween here (of course there are costume parties and such these days but they're nothing more than that, and probably not done privately but at clubs with Halloween-themed nights, like they do 60's night or disco or whatever), I'll tell you a little about our "version" of trick-or-treating.

First of all, this has nothing to do with the holiday of Halloween which, as far as I know, isn't celebrated at all in Sweden (but then I wouldn't really know since our family never was religious, and I don't remember any of my friends ever even mentioning it). 
No, our trick-or-treat happens during Easter. Children dress up as witches (not the scary, ugly kind but rather as cute kids with red cheeks and old style clothes), draw pictures or cards and go around the houses to exchange them for sweets.
Photo: Fredrik Nyman/imagebank.sweden.se

I'm not sure how common this is nowadays - I certainly don't remember doing it myself more than once, perhaps twice. Maybe it's a dying tradition, or maybe I'm not around kids enough to notice ;)

Anyway, apart from decorating the trees with coloured feathers,
Photo: Lola Akinmade Åkerström/imagebank.sweden.se
 most people don't really "celebrate" Easter; it's just an excuse to take the day off and enjoy the budding spring. The only thing everybody "knows" is the story of the witches:
Back in the day, witches would gather to fly together to a place called Blåkulla (Blue Hill), where they'd party with the devil. In some parts of the country, bonfires were lit to scare them away - this particular tradition is more common in the west of Sweden. Though, actually, the island of Blåkulla, or Blå Jungfrun (Blue Maiden) is located off the east coast and is now a national park.

Oh, I forgot to tell you about the drawing! It was a commission for a friend who wanted an easter card based on a dream she'd had of gags of witches - on sedgeways instead of broomsticks - gang-style pushing people out of their way, heading for Blåkulla.

5 comments:

  1. The drawing is wonderful, Nancy! I so enjoy your style, and I always imagine you as the perfect children-book illustrator!
    I loved learning about this Swedish tradition! It's lovely! Those little "witches" are adorable!
    We have All Saints Day here in Italy, it's a Catholic holiday and traditionally people bring flowers to their relatives who have passed away. But of course, as everywhere else, nowadays the American version with Halloween decor and parties has spread here too!

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    1. aww, thanks Anna! :) I wouldn't mind trying the American style Halloween though, at least once! I mean, who doesn't enjoy putting on a costume, watch horror comedy and stuff themselves with candy? ;)

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  2. This is phantastic. I love the cat in the cauldron

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  3. Lovely illustration! I think your style is wonderful!

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