Mudejar art is practiced by Mudejars, people of Muslim religion who remained in the Christian kingdoms after the conquest of their territory and, in exchange for a tax, retained their religion and legal status. It is an exclusively Hispanic phenomenon between the 12th and 17th c.

The materials used in the mudejar art are: The plaster introduced in the Iberian Peninsula by the Muslims from the East; brick, considered the Mudéjar material par excellence, being used for both decorative and constructive purposes; the wood in the ceilings and the ceramics

Påskkärring

In Sweden easter is all about eggs, ham, colourful feathers and… Witches?

Celebration

As a part of the Easter tradition, children will dress up as what we call “påskkärringar” meaning “easter hags”. This is done by putting on a dress or an apron (or both), a headdress, and then painting their face with cartoonish blushes and freckles. The children will then visit their relatives houses and give them easter cards or any other gift that they think fits (sometimes only a “happy easter!”), and get candy or snacks in return. Traditionally, this should be done on Maundy Thursday (the Thursday before easter) but people forget and do it basically any day before easter.

The easter hags are prominent on Easter in this childrens tradition, but also in the Easter decoration. Many decorations depict Easter hags in colourful clothes, or sometimes even as darkly dressed witches, flying on brooms.

Myth

The myth says that on Maundy Thursday, the easter hags pack their things and fly to Blåkulla (blue hill). Usually that’s all they say, especially to children who don’t know what Blåkulla is. Blåkulla is simply described as the place where the easter hags go, on Maundy Thursday, to celebrate with the Devil. The celebration ends on Easter and that’s when the Easter hags come back home.

“People drank and ate and danced and had sex in the light of candles that had been placed in womens genitals, while the Devil laid under the table and laughed a booming laugh, thundering through the hall”

This description of Blåkulla comes mostly from children who had accused someone of being a witch during the Swedish witch trials. It is never stated wether Blåkulla is where the Devil lives or if he is just visiting.

Despite all this, in todays Sweden, easter hags are not associated with evil and there are no myths or superstitions about them doing harm to anyone or anything. The tradition rather seems to radiate happiness and fun, with depictions of happy easter hags with colourful clothing and children dressing up as them with no malicious intent.