Maundy Thursday, in Swedish Folklore, was the day that witches flew off on their broomsticks to pay their respects to the devil, returning on the following Saturday. Good law-abiding citizens used to protect themselves from all this evil zooming through the skies – by lighting bon fires, letting off firearms and painting crosses on doors.
The witch motif has endured and finds a humorous expression in Easter cards and table decorations. The Children love to dress up as Easter witches. They daub their little faces with red, put on a long skirt with a bright kerchief on their head and fortified with a long broomstick and horn, or an old copper coffee pot – they run fun from door to door chanting “Lad Pask” (Happy Easter) while hoping for treats.
This custom is observed, especially in Western Sweden and in the suburbs of Stockholm. It’s always the Thursday before Easter.