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Easter letter

April 21, 2014

Danish easter letter gækkebrev 2

Danish easter letter gækkebrev

It is an old Danish tradition to send a “Gækkebrev” – a teaser letter without sender.

 

LINKS:

Wikipedia (in Danish)

History (in Danish)

Previous post about easter letters

Vers for “gækkebreve”

 

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. April 23, 2014 2:46 pm

    This is such a wonderful tradition. Is it only ever done at Easter? Are the ‘dots’ representing each letter in the sender’s name the same as the cut-out spaces? I looked at your other post on the subject and the links provided but wasn’t able to find any answers (at least in English :) )

    • May 5, 2014 2:13 pm

      Hi Amy-Lynn and hi Reggie. Thank you for your interest in this old tradition, I will answer you both here. The easter letter was originally a kind of making fun with each other, or connecting with a dear one. Probably a German tradition which came to Denmark around 1600. It was called a “Binde brev” (tied letter) and the letter was followed by a riddle or tied thread, which the reciever had to fix. If it didn´t succeeded, the reciever had to either make a party or give a kiss or something like that. They were send on name days.

      This tradition developed into the easter letter, which is a nice papercut without sender, except for the dots, as you mention, Amy-Lynn. In this case, there is a candy easter egg for the reciever, if he/she can guess. If not, the sender will get the egg. There are several typical verses made for this. By the way, there should be a snowdrop in the letter.

      Picture search of the old type: BINDEBREV

      https://www.google.dk/search?q=bindebrev&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=LI5nU__dC-K64ASxsYHgBQ&ved=0CDcQsAQ&biw=1238&bih=777

      • May 21, 2014 8:39 am

        Thank you for the explanation. The pictures show such variety and imagination. What a beautiful tradition!

  2. May 4, 2014 11:50 am

    I’m also intrigued by this, Amy-Lynn… how does this work?

    • May 5, 2014 2:14 pm

      Hi Amy-Lynn and hi Reggie. Thank you for your interest in this old tradition, I will answer you both here. The easter letter was originally a kind of making fun with each other, or connecting with a dear one. Probably a German tradition which came to Denmark around 1600. It was called a “Binde brev” (tied letter) and the letter was followed by a riddle or tied thread, which the reciever had to fix. If it didn´t succeeded, the reciever had to either make a party or give a kiss or something like that. They were send on name days.

      This tradition developed into the easter letter, which is a nice papercut without sender, except for the dots, as you mention, Amy-Lynn. In this case, there is a candy easter egg for the reciever, if he/she can guess. If not, the sender will get the egg. There are several typical verses made for this. By the way, there should be a snowdrop in the letter.

      Picture search of theold type: BINDEBREV

      https://www.google.dk/search?q=bindebrev&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=LI5nU__dC-K64ASxsYHgBQ&ved=0CDcQsAQ&biw=1238&bih=777

      • May 5, 2014 4:47 pm

        That is *fascinating*, Birgitte. Such an awesome – and fun – tradition.

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