Sweden still looks grey just before spring arrives. That is why with the help of birch twigs adorned with dyed feathers, easter in Sweden can look happily rainbow-colored. Smart, huh?
I have read in the book “Maypoles, Crayfish and Lucia” by Jan-Öjvind Swahn that Easter twigs are a custom borrowed from Central Europe.
And that Easter birch in the old days was used to chastise those mourning on Good Friday, to remind them of the scourging of Jesus. In the Philippines we have the same kind of scourging tradition which is still in existence. I did a radio documentary for Sveriges Radio in 2004 about the scourging and crucifixion of Catholics in Pampanga. We are talking real-life bloody activity.