The Sunday one week before Easter is a day that Finnish children await. To describe it in one sentence, I would say it is the Finnish equivalent to Halloween. In many families, the preparations start couple days before. Kids gather a good bunch of willow twigs and decorate them pretty with different colored ribbons and feathers.
On Sunday, the children go door to door with their joyful willow twigs. Wishing the door opener good health and happiness by chanting a rhyme and waving the willow, they give the twig and in exchange expect candy or money.
Some twenty years ago (sigh..) I spent the whole Saturday preparing my twigs for Sunday. It did not occur to me that I was of the only family with kids in a 10 km radius, which of course meant that a minimum amount of effort would have been equally appreciated and led to the same bucket of candy.
The best part of that day, was not the willows nor the candy, it was definitely the chance of being an Easter witch. I planned my assemble for weeks and did many dress rehearsals with my sister to perfect our looks. With pride and excitement I used my mum’s lipstick and eyeliner to create the freckles and blush appropriate for a witch. Luckily, when I grew up and was too big to be an Easter witch, my makeup skills also improved from those days!