For many of us in the Northern Hemisphere, spring is still waiting in the wings, semi-frozen in the barren branches of the slumbering trees. Although the days now slowly start to lengthen, it can seem eternally grey and drawn-out, leaving many of us yearning for the colours of the the new season to magically appear. Indeed, this post may be a little bit about believing in magic, in the form of a vibrant, symbolic beacon to help usher in the return of spring: the Paskris tree.

In short, a Paskris tree is a Scandinavian tradition that appears near Easter or late winter, in which colourful feathers are attached to branches (typically birch) and displayed in the home for a cheerful burst of colour. Its origins are unclear; some cite it as having roots in Christianity, while others link it to Pagan seasonal rituals. Regardless, the Paskris tree is a joyful symbol of rebirth, and a reminder that spring is not far off. The colourful feathers mimic the natural growth of buds and blossoms during a latent period when things have not yet started to reawaken. The idea is, by bringing the colours of spring inside the home, one can magically nudge the onset of the change of the season, and bid goodbye to the bleakness of the winter almost-past.

To make your own Paskris tree, gather the following supplies:

  • Branches
  • Gardening snips
  • Floral tape
  • Colourful feathers (can be found at craft supply stores)
  • Vessel for displaying

Place branches in your chosen vessel and decide how tall you would like your tree to be. Snip off extra lengths of branches, as needed. Using about 2-3 inches of floral tape, firmly wrap a few feathers to the end of each branch. Experiment with single feathers or groups of multiple feathers, until your Paskris tree is full of colour.