Danish Easter - The 'Gækkebrev'

Danish Easter - The 'Gækkebrev'


The Danish Easter tradition with foolish guessing letters - gækkebreve - is still kept all over Denmark during Easter, for children as well as adults. You send beautiful homemade foolish guessing letters, with no sender name, and test your friends and family members: can they guess your name from the poem in the letter? If not, you will get an Easter egg...



Why? Where does the tradition come from? 

The 'gækkebrev' tradition is originally a German tradition with so called 'knot letters'. They were send in Denmark from 1600 and to 1800. The tradition was that the receiver of the letter should loosen up a knot or solve a riddle that was placed in the letter.

In 1800 the more commercialised letters came in special paper with laces and colours and each year around Easter a book was published with poems to use, and riddles to guess. 

Today the idea with the 'gækkebreve', is that especially children make their own letters from paper and write little verses with a number of dots indicating the number of letters in your name. 
Once the receiver gets the letter, he has to guess the sender before Easter Sunday, or he owes the sender an Easter egg. The risky thing is, that if he does guess the name, the sender has to get an egg for him. So the tricky'er you make the riddle, the more fun. 

So find your paper and scissors and send a make your own little 'gækkebrev' for some friends and family. 

How to make your own 'gækkebrev' 

(Video from DenmarkDotDK)

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