In Norway it is the chicken that is the symbol of Easter and the Easter egg the traditional treat. The eggs themselves, made of paper or cardboard, are a fairly new tradition and are specifically for wrapping Easter sweets. They are brightly decorated and come in many different sizes – normal to huge. Smågodt, meaning ‘small goodies’, are usual fillers. These are lollies and chocolates that you can pick ‘n’ mix at the supermarket, or can come in ready packed bags. It is typical to have chocolate Easter shapes and yellow marispan chickens inside the eggs.
Traditionally, Easter eggs used to be painted hard-boiled eggs. Eggs where a luxury and highly sought after in the old days. During the dark Winter season the chickens stopped laying eggs. When it was Easter and Spring, the chickens started laying again (and with the Catholics observing Lent) there were an abundance of eggs. Hence, the tradition of eggs for Easter in Norway.
Hunting for eggs is a new tradition that was imported with the Easter Bunny. On Easter Sunday children run through the house searching for their eggshells filled with lollies. Some families have a trail of clues that eventually lead to the chocolatey-prize. In our family you are never too old to go egg hunting. The Easter Chicken usually has us running all over the farm looking for our chocolates.