Easter witches

The witches are out, but don’t despair. Instead of casting evils spells, they wish you well, although you’d better have some chocolate or candy handy just in case.
Every year before Easter, small colorful witches appear on Finnish doorsteps in a blend of eastern and western religious traditions related to spring. They hand over catkin branches, reciting healthy wishes in exchange for payment that is traditionally chocolate or other candies.

Two girls walks towards a house, in Jarvenpaa, Finland, Sunday, March 20,  2016. Small colorful witches appear on Finnish doorsteps before Easter, but instea...

But it wasn’t until the 1970s that the two traditions blended, with witches reciting a rhyme wishing good health for all in the household, reminding them of their duty to repay them with Easter eggs or other treats.
Today’s witches, instead of traditional scarves, often wear pointed witch hats in the Anglo-Saxon tradition. Some even don masks, aping Halloween costumes.

A girl holds a catkin branch in Jarvenpaa, south of Finland, on the Palm Sunday, March 20 2016. Small colorful witches appear on Finnish doorsteps before Eas...

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