[This post is also published over at www.blogs.denmark.dk - 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
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! :)
- 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 it.
Henne bag ved havens hæk, fandt jeg denne vintergæk.
Hej, min hvide lille ven, nu er turen din igen.
Du skal gå til min ven, hviske så kan han forstå,
han må gætte prikke små, for et påskeæg at få!
. . .
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.