"Fastlag Sunday", why that name in Swedish?

Of old the three last days before Lent, the end of Prelent, are named "Fastlagen" in Sweden. I have got the English word Shrove for that concept. The days of feasting before the long time of fasting, which has the beginning on Ash Wednesday. In more southern countries those days are the carnival from Latin carne vale "goodbye meat". Shrove Tuesday is the last day before Lent. Shrove Tuesday is the correct time to have"fettisdagsbullar" or "semlor". Nowadays all traditions more or less have lost their origin meaning. The custom of having "semlor" is spread all over late winter and early spring.


The Lent and Easter twigs with their multicoulored feathers is a nice custom for those who are not allergic. From my childhood I remember that on Quinquagesima Sunday we made an excursion to pick birch twigs. In the evening we decorated those twigs with multicoulored feathers, and the bouquets were the decoration of our home until Easter. But at that time we exchanged the content of the vases into twigs forced in the corner by the stove. They were in that way filled with very small light green birch leaves.

Easter Twigs © Ingegerd

The Easter twigs - why that tradition? Some people say that it is from the beginning an old custom that the head of the family should take some birch twigs on Good Friday and use those as a rod on the members of the household to remind them of the pain of our Lord Jesus Christ.
To put brightly coloured festhers in that birch twig bunch is a custom beginning about a hundred years ago. You had no flowers out of doors this time of the year but you could dye feathers and decorate the twigs.
From my childhood I can remember that you could buy twigs at the market place which were not decorated with just bright feathers but there were labels with prowerbs or prophesies attached to the feathers.

Quinquagesima Sunday - February 11, 2018 - In our churches we are that day told about Jesus saying to his disciples that they have to go to Jerusalem.
St Mark 10:32-34

And they were in the way going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus went before them: and they were amazed; and as they followed, they were afraid.
And he took again the twelve, and began to tell them what things should happen unto him, Saying, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles: And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again. (KJV)

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