Culture

Gaekkebreve – a Danish Easter tradition

A lovely activity to enjoy with your children during lockdown, gaekkebreve are beautiful handmade cards, traditionally sent at this time of year.

The article continues below.

Text and pictures by Pippa Thompson

Intricate patterns are cut into paper to make the card, which is sent anonymously with an amusing poem inviting the recipient to guess the sender’s name. If you guess correctly, the sender owes you an egg; if not, you must give one to the sender!

This year, when we are all apart from family and friends, this is an especially lovely way to feel connected.

Here’s how we made ours.

Materials (per card):
– A4 white paper
– A4 coloured card
– Glue
– Pens
– Scissors
– Stickers
– Envelope and stamps

What to do:
1. Fold your white paper diagonally from one corner, to make a square, and cut off the spare end.
2. Fold the square white paper into a smaller triangle
3. Cut small shapes along the folded and open edges
4. Open out and admire your design
5. Write your message. Ours reads

En vintergaek
en sommernar,
en fugl foruden vinger,
en lille ven,
som har dig kaer,
en kaerlig hilsen bringer.

Mit navn det star med prikker pas pa det ikke stikker.

Of course, you can write a rhyme in any language. Underneath your rhyme, write dots for the number of letters in your name.

6. Stick your white paper onto the coloured card and cut to size. You could also use wrapping paper, or just the cut-out paper itself.
7. Decorate the other side of the coloured card with drawings or pictures.
8. Put it in an envelope, add an address and stamp then take your daily exercise with a walk to the nearest post box.

Wait to see if your recipient guesses who it’s from!

Enjoy the Easter break and remember to stay home and stay safe.

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