Swedes prepare to consume 6 million eggs per hour

More than 100 million get laid every year in Sweden – kilos of eggs, that is.

These eggs are laid by the 6 million hens residing in Sweden, according to a statement from Svenska Ägg, an egg industry association.

Easter is almost like Christmas for egg producers, with Swedes consuming more than 6 million eggs per hour on Easter Saturday. Egg consumption at Easter doubles that of the rest of the year.

Maundy Thursday is one of the most popular shopping days of the year for convenience goods. Thirty percent of Easter shopping occurred on April 5th. The Swedish Research Institute of Trade estimates that food sales during Easter week can exceed 5 billion kronor.

The tradition of eating eggs at Easter likely has roots in heathen sacrificial ceremonies. Although the medieval church rejected heathen traditions, several persisted and the egg continued to have symbolic meaning to parishioners.

”People brought baskets of eggs to the medieval church. Some of these eggs were decorated. And that might be where the tradition of decorating eggs comes from.

“At the church, a prayer was held over the egg to protect oneself from dangers such as sickness. It is likely that several of our modern Easter traditions come from this old habit of blessing eggs,” said Göran Sjögård, ethnologist at Lund University, in a statement from Svenska Ägg.

And the egg is more popular than ever – in many different forms. Easter has the biggest candy sales of the year, and the best seller of the season is always egg-shaped candy. Newspaper Svenska Dagbladet reported that the tradition of candy-filled eggs is more than 200 years old.

In addition to eggs, a typical Easter spread, known as a ”påskbord,” includes herring, salmon and ”påskmust,” a rootbeer-type beverage popular during Swedish holidays.