Easter at Ingebretsen’s embraces tradition

Not just a shop but a place to celebrate your heritage

Ingebretsen’s

Photo: Laila Simon
Ingebretsen’s offers everything you need for a traditional Scandinavian Easter, including linens, wooden ornaments and egg cups, and felt accessories.

Laila Simon
Minneapolis

Easter is a big deal in the Scandinavian countries. Why? Because it marks an entire holiday week when flocks of workers head to their winter cabins to ski. While Ingebretsen’s Nordic Marketplace isn’t on a snowy mountain, they try their best to create a destination for those who celebrate Easter or who might simply want to curl up with a crime novel and wait for spring to arrive.

A tradition that Ingebretsen’s has embraced with full force is the Easter tree. It’s become a popular annual hit with their customers! The Easter tree comes from using sticks or brooms to beat winter from your doorstep. Feathers are often seen in Easter trees.

For the last three years, Ingebretsen’s has made an in-house decorating kit for these trees filled with small colorful ornaments, pieces of Swedish braid and a brief instruction guide on how to begin this tradition.

There’s a focus on bright colors and a sweeping away of the winter blues. They now make each element of the kit at the store, in thoughtful original designs, and offer a wide selection of Scandinavian ornaments to complement.

All Easter tree ornaments and ribbon are available to ship, so you, too, can start this fun spring tradition.

While reading violent crime novels during a holiday associated with pastels and baby animals might seem odd to Americans, påskekrim (Easter crime) is another tradition that Ingebretsen’s customers have had fun adopting. The store curates titles from local authors as well as Nordic ones so that you can find the perfect thriller for the Easter holiday.

Two fan favorites are Helene Tursten’s novels: An Elderly Lady is Up to No Good and the sequel, An Elderly Lady Must Not Be Crossed. The books follow 88-year-old Maud as she navigates two detectives sniffing around her late father’s prime Gothenburg apartment. A body is found. Will Maud be a suspect? You’ll have to read on to find out.

Ingebretsen’s

Photo: Laila Simon
One of the treasured traditions at Ingebretsen’s each year is the “Easter tree,” twigs decorated with feathers and other festive holiday ornaments.

Ingebretsen’s also caters to those who love local traditions! And as the white-tailed spring hares hop around Minneapolis, there are plenty of adorable bunnies to be found in the store. Felt bunnies from Danish brand, En Gry og Sif, typically sell out and can be reused for Easter decor from year to year.

For tabletop decor, themed runners from Sweden’s Ekelund Weavers are always a hit. Bright florals for a spring tablescape or jaunty painted Easter eggs are on display. And, of course, the accompanying egg cups, napkins, candles, and more for Easter brunch!

For the superstitious, Easter witches are a popular take home during this time of year. Påskehekser have been a tradition since the early 19th century. In Scandinavia, children will dress as witches and deliver Easter greetings from door to door. The folk tales say witches used to take their broomsticks and dance with the devil on the island of Blåkulla! But these small hanging witches are meant to bring good luck and help sweep away the darkness and temptations of winter.

If you are lucky enough to be planning a ski trip for the Easter holiday, the Minnesotans of Ingebretsen’s are always stocked with warm accessories, like winter hats from Dale of Norway, and ski trail must-haves like the Vingtor wool seating pads. Browse their wide selection! You can shop Easter at ingebretsens.com/shop/holidays/easter. 

You can visit Ingebretsen’s brick-and-mortar locations in the Twin Cities:

Flagship store at 1601 East Lake Street, Minneapolis 55407.

Also Ingebretsen’s at Norway House at 913 East Franklin Avenue, Minneapolis 55407.

This article originally appeared in the March 2024 issue of The Norwegian American.

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Laila Simon

Laila Simon is a writer in Minneapolis, who has been writing for The Norwegian American since 2017. Together with Kate Running, she is owns and operates Knit & Gather, a place where people come together to learn to knit. Laila is a dual citizen of Norway and the United States. When she’s not attempting ambitious recipes, she translates Norwegian poetry and adds to her houseplant collection.